Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to a Friend in London, [3 October? 1775]

To a Friend in London4

Extract printed in The London Chronicle, December 5–7, 1775.

[October 3?, 1775.5]

Tell our good friend, Dr. P——e,6 not to be in any pains for us, (because I remember he had his doubts) we are all firm and united. As I know he is a great calculator, I will give him some data to work upon: ministry have made a campaign here, which has cost two millions; they have gained a mile of ground; they have lost half of it back again,7 they have lost fifteen hundred men, and killed one hundred and fifty Yankies. In the mean time we have had between sixty and seventy thousand children born. Ask him how long it will take for England to conquer America?

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4So entitled by the printer. The extract is closely similar to that from the letter to Priestley below, Oct. 3, 1775. But significant differences in wording persuade us that this one came from another letter. The recipient, a mutual friend of BF, Price, and Priestley, cannot be identified.

5BF was in the habit of devoting a day to correspondence, and on Oct. 3 wrote to Hartley, Priestley, and Strahan; it is reasonable to assume that the letter from which these sentences were taken was part of the same day’s work.

6Price; see the letter to Priestley just cited.

7See ibid.

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