Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Hutton, 21 January 1778

From James Hutton

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Passy. 21 Jan. 1778

My dear friend

I have one more wish, which is, that our Brethren’s Settlements on the Coast of Labradore may not be molested by any of the American arm’d Vessels, and as our Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel send out a small Vessell every year with Provisions to our Missionaries on that Coast, without which they would probably be starved, I hope your arm’d Vessels will not for a trifle of gain cause the pretty certain Starvation of between 20 and 30 worthy people, who seek no other Profit by their residing there but only to civilize and render happy the poor Eskimaux.1 I recommend these two things to your kindness and am Dear Sir your most obliged and most affectionate


To Dr Franklin

Endorsed: M Hutton’s Request

Notation: Hutton Jan. 21. 1778

1The mission to Labrador had been authorized by the crown in 1769, and the first settlers were sent out the next year. Their settlements not only survived the war but proved lasting. J. Taylor Hamilton, A History of the Church Known as the Moravian Church . . . during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Bethlehem, Pa., 1900), pp. 223–6, 566.

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