Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Pownall: Extract, [September 1782]

To Thomas Pownall: Extract3

Press copy of copy: Library of Congress

[September, 1782]

The Box you committed to the Care of Mr Bridgen was duly sent by him, & received at Ostend; but in its way from thence hither it has miscarried.4 I am taking pains to find out what is become of it. I hope it is not irrecoverably lost. Tho I have lost other things before which were coming to me, and think the Carriage between Ostend & Paris is by no means a safe Conveyance.

I had in May last received Almon’s Account which you sent me.5 There are several Articles in it that appear to me monstrously extravagant. But I suppose there is no Remedy. His whole Charge amounts to £300..11..0; and he gives Credit for Cash received by the Sale £312.16.0.— There is then a Ballance remaining for Mrs Barry of £12..5..0, which I hope you have received, or will receive from him.— The Copies delivered in, ballance the Number; but they by no means discharge any part of that Sum, being all charged and paid for in the Account.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3These paragraphs, which we believe to be in BFB’s hand, were written at the top of a letter BF wrote to Pownall on March 1, 1785. Alluding to the extract, which he said came from a letter he wrote Pownall in September, 1782, BF said that a key piece of information was incorrect. The box had not been received at Ostend. It had been placed on board a ship and had been taken by mistake to the West Indies, where it had lain for several years. It had only just been delivered.

4The box contained 187 copies (sewn and unsewn) of Pownall’s A Topographical Description … of North America … and the annexed reissue of Lewis Evans’ General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America: XXXI, 302; XXXVII, 370–2, 583.

5See XXXVII, 370–1.

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