Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Price, 10 March 1783

From Richard Price

ALS: Yale University Library

Newington-Green Mch. 10th: 1783

My Dear Friend

This letter will be deliver’d to you by Mr Redford,2 a Gentleman for whom I have a great regard and who has my best wishes. He is going to Settle for life in one of the thirteen united States; and he has already Sent thither a part of his fortune. May I take the liberty to request your notice of him? Any assistance or information which you may be pleased to give him will be bestowed on a worthy man and a warm friend to universal liberty, who is well qualified to make an useful member of the united States. Indeed I can Scarcely wish them better, than that they may be filled with men of his character, abilities and principles.— He has been in business about five years; but having in his education contracted habits wch: render him more disposed to litterary than mercantile persuits, he does not intend to engage in commerce but to purchase an estate in order to turn it to the best account that the customs of the country will allow. He has been for some time a member of the Club of whigs at the London-Coffee-House, who will be always proud of having had you for a member. The motives wch: have determined Mr Redford to Settle with his property in America, are his zeal for liberty, his high opinion of the American Governmts:, and his desire to Share in the blessings and happiness of a rising country. I have given him a general testimonial which he will Shew you. Would it be too much to beg that you would by a line at the bottom attest that it is my hand-writing?

Mr Redford is likely to be followed by many more emigrants from hence and from Ireland. He will inform you, particularly, of a body of people in Ireland who have resolved to remove to America, and commissioned Mr Noble, a major of the Irish armed volunteers, to go before them in order to engage a tract of land for them. Mr Redford is to assist in transacting this business, and will think himself obliged to you for your advice.3

Permit me to congratulate you on the late Peace, and on the Revolution in favour of liberty which has taken place by the establishmt: of the independence of America. I cannot express to you the Satisfaction this has given me. I have wished to live to See this issue of the contest with America; and I am thankful that I have Seen it. The world owes it partly to you; and may Heaven heap its blessings upon you, comfort you in the evening of life, and make you completely happy beyond the grave.

You probably well know what a detestable coalition of parties has lately taken place among us. Never Surely was there an instance of Such proffligate conduct. Mr Fox, the pretended friend of the country, united to Ld North, the destroyer of the country— The Rockingham party, a body of men who would be thought zealous whigs, united to Tories and the friends of despotism, to oppose and censure a peace which has Saved the kingdom— I hope foreigners See this in its true light; as, merely, a Struggle of ambitious and disappointed men to get into power. May the united States take care to guard agst: the danger and misery of Such factions.

Relying on the indulgence and candour wch: I have always experienced from you, I am, with the greatest affection and respect, ever yours

Richd: Price

Many of your Friends are flattering themselves with the hope of Seeing you soon in England. If not improper, deliver my respects to Mr Adams.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Archibald Redford: XXXVIII, 320n.

3For Arthur Noble see also Brocklesby’s letter of March 12, below. BF was given a copy of the petition Noble had received from “78 Persons [signing] for themselves & their families—making in the whole about 450 persons” including 60 armed and trained volunteers. They listed their grievances as tenants and entreated Noble to purchase a tract of land in America which they would lease from him on whatever terms he specified: Seventy-Eight Persons to Arthur Noble, undated, APS.

Noble arrived in Philadelphia in mid-October carrying an enthusiastic letter of recommendation from BF to Robert Morris (now missing); Morris, in turn, recommended him to George Washington and Robert Livingston. In 1787 the N.Y. Assembly granted Noble the patents of Arthurborough and Nobleborough in the present-day counties of Hamilton and Herkimer. There he settled about one hundred families, built a sawmill, and began producing maple sugar, which they hoped would supply the entire country. The enterprise had failed by 1792: Morris Papers, VIII, 647, 833; Harold C. Syrett et al., eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (27 vols., New York, 1961–87), IV, 66–7; J. H. French, Gazetteer of the State of New York … (Syracuse, N.Y., 1860), pp. 337, 339, 342; George A. Hardin, ed., History of Herkimer County, New York (Syracuse, N.Y., 1893), p. 450; Jefferson Papers, XX, 343–4.

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