Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from [Edward Bancroft], 4 March 1777

From [Edward Bancroft]

AL: American Philosophical Society

4th March 1777.

Dear Sir

In Compliance with your favour of the 17th. ultimo. I have paid Mr. Hood twelve Guineas; Mr. Wh[arton] having represented that he could not Clear himself from hence and Convey himself to Paris with Less. I have taken his receipt for the money.1 By Mr. Hood I shall send you the Books which were Left me sometime ago by Mr. Vaughan. I shall also send Mr. Deane a Continuation of his sett of Monthly reviews; in the Last of which you will find some further Remarks on the Dean of Gloucester’s misconduct towards you. I hope that my earnest desire of refuting his Calumnies has [not] Lead me to mention any improper Circumstance An Apprehension of which would have induced me to have first submitted the Article to your Correction, had not Mr. Griffith’s been very pressing for it.2 I herewith inclose you two Letters from Mr. T. Walpole, in one of which you will find a Draft for your Ballance. Mr. Walpole was rather Hurt by your writing on the Subject, to 176, and did not chuse to give any answer through that Channel, and on the other Hand 176 is Jealous of my intimacy with 177 and desireous that you should not Correspond with the Latter but through him. You will please therefore not to intimate that the Letters in question were forwarded by me. It is a pitiful Subject for Jealousey or Contention, but I have been most seriously applied to by 176 not to receive Letters for you from 177, a request too unreasonable to be Complied with.3 I presume my Letters to Mr. Deane have been constantly communicated to you, and but little of News has occurred Since my Last. The Packet with Government Dispatches arived Last night, but they have given us nothing in this Evening’s Gazette, a sure proof that they have nothing which they call good. I shall however collect in a Letter to Mr. D- for your and his Satisfaction such Particulars as have Come to my Knowledge and shall be happy in every Opportunity given me of approving myself Dear Sir Your most respectful, Affectionate and Devoted Humble Servant.

Addressed: Dr. F–

Notations: Dr Bancroft Mar. 4 77. / Dr Bt

1Thomas Hood was a Philadelphian. He had interviewed some American prisoners in London, after giving the required assurance that he was not himself an American; when he reached Paris he made a deposition on March 29 about their treatment (University of Pa. Library); this the commissioners forwarded to Stormont with their letter below of April 2. His lie about his nationality was typical of the man. At the end of the month BF advanced him 30 louis, and the loan was apparently obtained on false pretences: Waste Book, entry of March 31. Hood went on to borrow money right and left, and generally to make a nuisance of himself; see BF to Rybot below, April 9, and subsequent volumes.

2Bancroft was enclosing his review of Dean Tucker’s latest publication, A Series of Answers to Certain Popular Objections against Separating from the Rebellious Colonies . . . (Gloucester, 1776); see BF’s marginalia above, under Dec. 22. The review ignored the Dean’s argument, except for a final paragraph, and instead took him to task for earlier attacks on BF: Monthly Review, LVI (1776), 145–9. Ralph Griffiths was the publisher: above, XXII, 373 n.

3The two enclosed letters from Walpole were, we assume, those above of Feb. 2 and below of March 5, in which case the present letter was begun on the 4th and finished later. The context makes it almost certain that 176 was Samuel Wharton. 177 was unquestionably Walpole himself. A few weeks earlier Bancroft had enclosed to Deane a sketch of BF “by a son of 177” (Deane Papers, I, 496), and BF acknowledged young Walpole’s work in writing to his father below, Dec. 11, 1777.

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