Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Greenleaf, 26 October 1775

To Joseph Greenleaf5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Head Quarters, Cambridge, Oct. 26. 75


I intended to have called upon you yesterday at Watertown, but was prevented by other Business.6

Mr. Goddard, appointed Riding Surveyor to the General Post-Office, is on his Way, settling the Post-Offices from Philadelphia Eastward. He will probably be here in a few days, and has Instructions for Regulating everything relating to them.7 I think it will be right for the Committee to receive and pay all to the End of the last Quarter; and let the present Quarter, commencing with this Month, be on Account of the General Post-Office. I should be glad however to know from you, the Amount of the Receipts, and of the Disbursements, while the Offices were under the Direction of the Committee; which if you please you may send me at your convenient Leisure. I am very respectfully, Sir, Yours and the Committee’s, most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

I do not recollect that I received the Letter you mention to have sent me in August last.

I return homewards this day.

Jos. Greenleaf Esqr

Addressed: To / Joseph Greenleaf Esqr / Wa[tertown]

Endorsed: Letter from Dr. Franklin Octr. 26. 1775.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Greenleaf (1720–1809) emerged in 1771 as a propagandist for the colonial cause in his contributions to the Mass. Spy, and the following year joined the Boston committee of correspondence. In 1774 he was advocating an independent postal system and in May, 1775, was named to a committee appointed by the provincial congress to establish such a system. William Lincoln, ed., The Journals of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775 . . . (Boston, 1838), pp. 208, 222–4; James E. Greenleaf, Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family . . . (Boston, 1896), pp. 77–8; Richard D. Brown, Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts . . . (Cambridge, Mass., 1970), pp. 181–4. This committee, we assume, was the one to which BF refers in the second paragraph.

6At least a part of which was settling his accounts as Mass. agent; see the note on that settlement above, Oct. 23.

7Either Goddard was further delayed, or he spent a long time in the Boston area, for Ezra Stiles met him at Wrentham on Nov. 21: Franklin B. Dexter, The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles . . . (3 vols., New York, 1901), I, 635.

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