Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Peters, 5 March 1778

From Richard Peters

ALS: American Philosophical Society

York March 5th. 1778

Dear Sir

I have been honored with several Letters by the Hands of sundry Gentlemen coming here with a View to serve our Cause; but from the Numbers of our own Officers and the foreign Gentlemen not being possessed of our language it was impossible for us to find Places or for them to distinguish themselves in our Service. You are conscious of this and therefore ’tis needless for me to enlarge on the Subject. I have shewn every private Civility to them as I shall ever do to Gentlemen honored by your Recommendation.

I am much obliged by the Care you took of the Letters I troubled you with relative to my private Affairs. I have since heard that my Father was living about 9 Months ago but cannot recieve a line from him.1 I informed you that I took the Liberty of desiring him to draw on you first consulting you on the Occasion for an hundred Pounds Sterling per Annum and on Notice of his having done so I would repay it to your Agent here. Do me the Favour to get some Intelligence of my Father as I am extremely uneasy on the Occasion and much fear if he is living that some undue Means are taken either by public or private Persons to prevent my having the least Account of him. I am with the greatest Respect your obedient humble Servant

Richard Peters

He lodged at a Mrs. Roberts’s near the County Hall Nottingham.
Honble Dr Benja. Franklin.

Addressed: Hon: Dr. Benjamin Franklin / Agent for the United States / of America / Paris / Favored by the / Baron de Holzendorff2

Notation: Richard Peters 5. mars 1778. de York. 5. 1778.

1For Richard Peters, the secretary of the continental board of war, and his search for his father in England see above, XXIII, 274–5. The son sent three more inquiries in 1778, unaware that BF was already doing what he could; the following year the search finally succeeded: Robert H. Elias and Eugene D. Finch, eds., Letters of Thomas Attwood Digges (1742–1821) ([Columbia, S.C., 1982]), pp. 65–6.

2Who was returning home after serving as colonel in the American army: above, XXIV, 267 n.

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