Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790) to Joseph Smith, Burlington re: situation in London

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00135 Author/Creator: Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790) Place Written: London Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 06 February 1772 Pagination: 2 p. + FF 33 x 20 cm

Summary of Content: With free frank on address leaf. With some discussion of the Royal family

Background Information: Signer of the U.S. Constitution.

Full Transcript: London, Feb. 6, 1772
Sir
The Parliament has open'd with a Calm in Politics, which seems to promise a quiet Session, the Opposition appearing to be in a very declining Way. There ...is no Talk of any Purpose to meddle with American Affairs, either by repealing the present Duties or adding new ones. A Peace between the Turks and Russians is supposed to be nearly concluded, and no present Probability of any new Rupture in Europe. So that it is to be hoped we may have a few Years Quiet, and the Publick Debt be thereby lessened.
The Royal Family is at present in great Affliction. The dangerous Illness of the Duke of Gloucester, the impudent Marriage of his Brother; the daily expected Death of the King's Mother, and above all the Revolution in Denmark attended with the Imprisonment of his Sister, are such an Accumulation of Distress that all good Subjects commiserate their Sovereign.
I was much concerned to hear of a Misunderstanding between the Assembly & Governor. I hope it is amicably settled before this time, and that Harmony restored which has been so much to the Credit of your Province.
I am inform'd that it is proper I should impower [sic] some Person to receive for me the annual Allowance made by the Assembly to their Agent. I beg leave to request you would take this Trouble in my Behalf, which I shall [2] acknowledge [sic] as a Favour, desiring you would retain in your Hands what you receive till you hear farther from me.
If in anything I can serve you here, it will be a Pleasure to me to receive and execute your Commands; being, with your great Esteem
Sir,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
B Franklin
[Docket]
To
Joseph Smith, Esqr
Burlington
Capt. Falconer Dr. Franklin
B Free Franklin --1772--
See More

People: Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Global History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyPoliticsGovernment and CivicsFinanceRevolutionary WarTaxes or TaxationHealth and MedicalMarriageRebellionTreaty

Sub Era: Road to Revolution

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources