Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Bromfield, 12 August 1775

From Thomas Bromfield1

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London 12th Augst: 1775.

Dear Sir.

With pleasure your friends received the agreable inteligence of your safe arrival and health.

Inclos’d I return a Letter for you directed to our care. From different accounts I am pleased to observe, the great unanimity that prevails thr’o the Continent; your advise was never more wantd, hope it will tend to restore that invaluable blessing to which our unhappy Colonies have been so long strangers. From the best accounts we can collect, think the Ministry still seem determined to pursue rigerous measures, more troops and Men of War are going, to protect those already there till the spring, when a large reinforcment of fresh ones are to accomplish all there designs, (little thinking) What we must naturaly suppose will happen before that period arrives, from a total stopage in the Trade to America; but supposing it possible to be otherways, it is my Opinion, there Attemps to inforce theese measures by the sword is impracticable. It is evident they have got so far in the Mire as not to be able to return back with any degree of Credit to themselves, therefore seem determin’d to pursue, th’o it may terminate in the ruin of both Countrys. Since the battle of the 17 June our reproch of Cowardice however, is wiped off.2

The Publick papers woud inform you of the death of our poor freind Mr. Quincy, it was great concern to us; We lament him as an agreable acquaintance and a sincere freind to the Interest of his Country; had a satisfaction however to think his papers fell into the hands of the Congress.3

I sincerely wish a continuance of your unanimity. May Peace be established upon a firm and lasting Basis, so ardently Wishes Your sincere friend and Most Humble servant

Thos: Bromfield

Addressed: To / Doctor Franklin / In / Philadelphia / per Capt. Newman Who is desired to deliver this with his own hand4

Endorsed: Mr Bromfield Aug. 12. 75

1Briefly identified above, XXI, 157 n. He and his brother Henry were Boston merchants, and Thomas had been in England for some time on their business. During the visit of Josiah Quincy, Jr., the two Americans were often together in London, and sometimes in the company of Jonathan Williams, Jr.: Quincy, Memoir, pp. 227–8, 335. Less than three months after writing this letter Bromfield was in France, where he established a business connection with Silas Deane and then departed with a cargo for America, apparently in January, 1777: Deane Papers, I, 350, 448. His nephew, young Henry, will appear in future volumes in connection with the same business, in England and in France.

2News of Bunker Hill appeared in the London newspapers in late July.

3As we said above, XXI, 513, Quincy’s information was in his head and died with him. No papers of his are recorded in the journals of either congress, the Mass. provincial or the Continental; and we must assume that Bromfield was mistaken.

4By autumn the Philadelphia newspapers were no longer publishing the names of ships’ masters, so that we cannot identify the obliging Capt. Newman or tell when he arrived.

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