Front Page Titles (by Subject) CCXLVI: TO WILLIAM STRAHAN - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768
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CCXLVI: TO WILLIAM STRAHAN - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. IV Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768 
The Works of Benjamin Franklin, including the Private as well as the Official and Scientific Correspondence, together with the Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography, compiled and edited by John Bigelow (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). The Federal Edition in 12 volumes. Vol. IV (Letters and Misc. Writings 1763-1768).
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TO WILLIAM STRAHAN
Philadelphia, 25 June, 1764.
I wrote a few lines to you via Liverpool; but they were too late for the ship, and now accompany this.
I gave Mr. Parker a power of attorney to act for you and myself with respect to Mecom’s affairs, who has under oath surrendered all he possessed into his hands, to be divided proportionately between us and his other creditors, which are chiefly Rivington and Fletcher and Hamilton and Balfour. The effects consist of a printing press, some tolerably good letter, and some books and stationery. He has rendered particular and exact accounts, but his all will fall vastly short of payment. I suppose it will scarce amount to four shillings in the pound. Parker thinks him honest, and has let him have a small printing house at New Haven, in Connecticut, where he is now at work; but having a wife and a number of small children, I doubt it will be long ere he gets any thing beforehand so as to lessen much of his old debt. I think it will be well for each of his creditors to take again what remains unsold of their respective goods, of which there are separate accounts, and join in impowering Mr. Parker to sell the remainder, to be divided among us. Tho’ on second thoughts, perhaps the fairest way is to sell and divide the whole. You can obtain their sentiments, and send me your own. As to what Parker1 owes you, it is very safe, and you must have interest.
I hope the bath will fully re-establish good Mrs. Strahan’s health. I enjoy the pleasure with which you speak of your children. God has been very good to you, from whence I think you may be assured that he loves you, and that he will take at least as good care of your future happiness as he has done of your present. What assurance of the future can be better founded than that which is built on experience of the past? Thank me for giving you this hint, by the help of which you may die as cheerfully as you live. If you had Christian faith, quantum suff. this might not be necessary; but as matters are it may be of use.
Your political letters are oracles here. I beseech you to continue them. With unfeigned esteem, I am, as ever, dear friend, yours affectionately,
TO WILLIAM STRAHAN
Philadelphia, 24 September, 1764.
Dear Mr. Strahan:—
I wrote to you of the first instant, and sent you a bill for £13, and a little list of books to be bought with it. But as Mr. Becket has since sent them to me, I hope this will come time enough to countermand that order. The money, if you have received it, may be paid to Mr. Stephenson, to whom we have wrote for sundry things.
I thank you for inserting the messages and resolutions entire. I believe it has had a good effect; for a friend writes me that it is astonishing with what success it was propagated in London by the Proprietaries; that the resolutions were the most indecent and undutiful to the Crown, &c., so that when he saw them, having before heard those reports, he could not believe they were the same.
I was always unwilling to give a copy of the chapter for fear it would be printed, and by that means I should be deprived of the pleasure I often had in amusing people with it. I could not, however, refuse it to two of the best men in the world, Lord Kames and Mr. Small, and should not to the third if he had not been a printer. But you have overpaid me for the loss of that pleasure by the kind things you have so handsomely said of your friend in the introduction.
You tell me that the value I set on your political letters is a strong proof that my judgment is on the decline. People seldom have friends kind enough to tell them that disagreeable truth, however useful it might be to know it; and indeed I learn more from what you say than you intended I should; for it convinces me that you had observed the decline for some time past in other instances, as ’t is very unlikely you should see it first in my good opinion of your writings; but you have kept the observation to yourself till you had an opportunity of hinting it to me kindly under the guise of modesty in regard to your own performances. I will confess to you another circumstance that must confirm your judgment of me, which is that I have of late fancy’d myself to write better than ever I did; and, farther, that when any thing of mine is abridged in the papers or magazines, I conceit that the abridger has left out the very best and brightest parts. These, my friend, are much stronger proofs, and put me in mind of Gil Blas’s patron, the homily-maker.
I rejoice to hear that Mrs. Strahan is recovering; that your family in general is well, and that my little woman in particular is so, and has not forgot our tender connection. The enlarging of your house and the coach-house and stables you mention make me think of living with you when I come; for I love ease more than ever, and by daily using your horses I can be of service to you and them by preventing their growing too fat and becoming restif.
Mrs. Franklin and Sally join in best wishes for you and all yours, with your affectionate
I wrote a few lines to you by this opportunity, but omitted desiring you to call on Mr. Jackson of the Temple and pay him for the copying a manuscript he sent me which he paid the stationer for doing on my account. Yours affectionately,
[1 ]This Parker in New York and Franklin in Philadelphia, were, at the date of this letter, the only two printers of much account in the colonies. Cortland Parker, Esq., the eminent jurist of New Jersey, inherits the blood of both.