Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Samuel Martin, 14 March 1778

From Samuel Martin8

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Whitehaven 14th March 1778


I hope the time is not at any great distance, when I may Shake of my Gouty foot and make you a Visit. Till that happy event Comes round I must pray leave to referr you to the bearer Mr. Nathl Dowse9 for all particulars relative me and mine as well as touching Himself. I am with Respect Sir, Your most Obedient Humble Servant

Saml: Martin

Benjamen Franklynn Esqr. Paris

Notation: S. Martin March 14 78 Whitehaven

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8A Whitehaven merchant with American roots. His father seems to have been Col. John, a member of the Va. House of Burgesses; the son retained lands in Virginia that were worth more than £30,000 when they were confiscated in 1779. The family also had relatives in Ireland. Lothrop Withington, “Virginia Gleanings in England,” Va. Mag. of History and Biography, XIII (1905–6), 198–9; XXI (1913), 249; Gent. Mag., XLIX (1779), 328; Edward Hughes, North Country Life in the Eighteenth Century (2 vols., London, etc., 1952–65), II, [334]. In 1772 a Miss Martin provided BF with introductions for his northern tour: above, XIX, 40 n. Our statement there that her parents lived in Derby was based on misreading a fragmentary MS; we are now convinced that Samuel was her father, and that she arranged a meeting when BF visited Whitehaven. The acquaintance, to judge by the tone of this letter, burgeoned thereafter.

9An American sea captain who had been imprisoned in Whitehaven; see his letter below, May 5.

Index Entries