Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Percival, 4 December 1782

From Thomas Percival6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Manchester Decemb. 4. 1782.

Messrs. James and Charles Hill, are the Sons of Mr. John Hill, late a very considerable Tradesman in Manchester, and have left their Native Country in consequence of the Bankruptcy of their Father.—7

Tho. Percival.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6This testament to the identity of James and Charles Hill—brothers who were in France awaiting passage to America—was procured so that BF might write them a letter of recommendation; see their letter of Jan. 7, below, which enclosed the present document. A third brother, Joseph Hill, obtained this letter on their behalf. He informed his brothers on Dec. 4 that Percival wrote these lines “with great Chearfullness” and would have written more fully but for fear that if the letter miscarried it would be said that “Dr p. was Carrying on a Correspondence with those whom some people call our Enemies.” As BF knew his handwriting, Percival felt sure that this sentence would be sufficient. APS. Percival (XVIII, 104–5n) had recently renewed his acquaintance with BF by sending him books: XXXVII, 361.

7John Hill and his partner Joshua Marriott, merchants of Manchester, appear on a list of bankrupts for January, 1783: Gent. Mag., LIII (1783), 95.

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