Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Gordon, 21 March 1777

From William Gordon

ALS: American Philosophical Society

J[amaica] P[lain] March 21. 1777

My Dear Sir

I trouble you afresh with a packet designed for our friend Dr. Price. Be pleased to peruse the letter and papers ere you forward them to him. I wished to put both parties out of conceit with Mr. Hutchinson, which I think will be effected by what is in Edes’s papers, and will be confirmed in two or three subsequent ones.9 Such a man ought to have no supporters but two upright posts with one across it. Hope you will find time, and honour me so far as, to write me a few lines, agreeable to what is mentioned in Dr. Price’s; communicating some important information proper for the history of these times. May you enjoy your health and live to be more serviceable to America than ever! Present my respectful compliments to Mr. Dean and Mr. Lee, the latter I am not known to except it may be by name. Expect that Dr. Cooper writes by the present opportunity.1 I remain with sincere respect your very humble servant and friend

William Gordon

The Continental lottery will succeed according to appearances. No tickets are yet come to Boston, which I suppose is owing to their rapid sale in and about Philadelphia.2 Ten thousand would probably go off in the Massachusetts very soon.

Addressed: The Honle Dr Benjamin Franklin

Notation: W. Gordon March 21. 77.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9“Both parties” were presumably America and Britain. In June, 1775, Gordon began to edit and publish in Benjamin Edes’ paper, the Boston Gaz., extracts from letters of Hutchinson that had recently come to light; these were soon reprinted in London. Gordon’s account of the episode is in The History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment, of the Independence of the United States . . . (4 vols., London, 1788), II, 28–31; see also Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge, Mass., 1974), pp. 334–7.

1He did; the letter is below, March 30.

2Congress had established the lottery to raise money and control the inflation of paper currency. The tickets reached Boston by the end of the month; the agent for selling them was Jonathan Williams, Sr.: Boston Gaz., March 31, April 7, 1777. See also Lucius Wilmerding, Jr., “The United States Lottery,” N.-Y. Hist. Soc. Quarterly, XLVII (1963), 5–39.

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