Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Hutton, 24 January 1783

From James Hutton

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Pimlico 24 Jan. 83

Dear Old Friend

You may remember my Tears of Jan. 20. 1778. They are wiped off. They were made an Article of Scoffing in a Lr. to Lord Chatham published by Almon.1 My Congratulations on Peace attend you. I thank you again & again for your very kind & ready granting my Request of a Passport for our Labradore Ship.2 & for sending my Lr. to America wrote in your Room at Passy Jan. 1778. which by your Means was of Service in America for the Repose of my Brethren.3 How many Personal and interesting kindnesses have you not shewn me? I beg you not to fail to let me know, if you come to England on a short visit to your friends, that I may thank you in person once more before we are removed to another Country. Mrs Hewson was well & her three Children last Monday, but you have had very painful Illnesses, and an Irish Gentleman whom I saw yesterday tells me you was a little lame last Friday.4 God bless you my old dear kind Friend. Continue to Love me & my Brethren. Ever obliged to you as I am

James Hutton

excuse haste & agitation.

Addressed: To / Doctor Franklyn / Passy

1Hutton had wept “floods of Tears” (his own description) when his attempt to negotiate a peace at Passy failed: XXV, 401–2; XXXVII, 666. This was reported in the British daily press (for which see Lewis, Walpole Correspondence, XXVIII, 360) and in a letter to Chatham dated Feb. 12, 1778, published anonymously in Almon’s Remembrancer, VII (1778–79), 80–1.

2Being sent to the Moravian mission there. BF regularly granted such passports; see, for example, XXVI, 667–8. The most recent was sent the previous March: XXXVI, 691.

3Probably his letter to Bishop Nathaniel Seidel. Hutton was concerned about reports of attacks on Moravians at Bethlehem, Pa.: XXV, 403–4, 412.

4On Feb. 14 Receiver General of Finances Jean Chanorier (DBF), acting at the request of former minister of state Bertin, forwarded to WTF a letter addressed to BF that had been sent to Bertin’s care (APS). This was probably the present letter, as Hutton often used Bertin as a conduit for his correspondence with BF. Also enclosed may have been the undated “Extrait d’une Lettre Ecrite de Londres à M Bertin Ministre d’Etat par M Huton,” now among BF’s papers at the Library of Congress. Having heard that BF suffered from the stone, Hutton described a remedy that he thought would be effective.

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