Front Page Titles (by Subject) CCCCLXXVII: TO MESSRS. ABEL JAMES AND BENJAMIN MORGAN - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. VI Letters and Misc. Writings 1772-1775
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CCCCLXXVII: TO MESSRS. ABEL JAMES AND BENJAMIN MORGAN - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. VI Letters and Misc. Writings 1772-1775 
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. VI (Letters and Misc. Writings 1772-1775).
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TO MESSRS. ABEL JAMES AND BENJAMIN MORGAN
London, 10 February, 1773.
I duly received your favor of [mutilated], and have, after a long delay, got the [silk?] from the custom-house. The throwsters appointed to inspect it there, in order to ascertain the bounty, valued it at fifteen shillings the small pound, the whole taken together, and afterwards wanted to buy it of me at that price. But suspecting their offer to be too low, I have shown it to others, who say it is much undervalued. Our friend Freeman advises its being sold by auction at the last, and recommends the same broker. Every one I have consulted is of the same opinion. He will have a sale about April next.
The Spitalfield’s silk business is very dead at present. The enormous paper credit which circulated so freely some time since, enabled the master manufacturers to employ more men and make more goods than the market really required, and the blow such credit has lately received, obliges them to stop their work until they can dispose of the great quantity of goods on hand, which some say is enough for a twelvemonth to come.
So the disbanded workmen are starving, though great sums are collected to distribute among them in charity. Several have applied to me to ship them to America, but having no account that such workmen are wanted there, I was obliged to refuse them. One came to me with the enclosed letter, and showed me several written characters from different masters he had worked with, all strongly in his favor for ingenuity and skill in his business, as well as his sobriety and industry. He was a Quaker, and seemed a sensible young man, so that I was strongly inclined to send him, till I understood he had a wife and young family, which would make it too expensive, though he said his wife was a work-woman in the business, and one child could also be serviceable. He is endeavoring to get subscriptions to pay the passage-money, but I suppose will hardly succeed, as people here would rather maintain the workmen idle for a while, than pay toward sending them to America.
I am much obliged to the managers for their present of four pounds of the silk, and shall consider what purpose I can apply it to that may best contribute to the encouragement of the produce. Please to offer them my thankful acknowledgments, and assure them of my most faithful services.
With great esteem and respect, I am, gentlemen,
Your most obedient humble servant,