Franklin, William Temple, 1760-1823

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William Temple Franklin served as Benjamin Franklin's secretary at the American Philosophical Society, 1786.

From the guide to the William Temple Franklin diary, 1785, 1785, (American Philosophical Society)

Grandson of Benjamin Franklin.

From the description of Autograph letters signed (16) : Philadelphia, New York and London, to M. le Veillard, 1785-1792. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270751145

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Franklin Park, New Jersey, to [Louis Guillaume] le Veillard, 1786 June 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 302348547

William Temple Franklin was Benjamin Franklin's grandson and secretary.

From the description of Appointment books ; diaries, 1785-1803. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122489478

From the guide to the William Temple Franklin appointment books: diaries, 1785-1803, 1785-1803, (American Philosophical Society)

William Temple Franklin was Benjamin Franklin's grandson and his secretary in Paris.

From the description of Correspondence, 1775-1819. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122540023

The sons of Joseph Fox and Elizabeth Mickle, George (1759-1828) and Samuel Mickel Fox I (1763-1808) became intimate friends of Benjamin Franklin's grandson William Temple Franklin. George, a physician who was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1784, represented Philadelphia in the Assembly in 1800, and was an organizer and director of the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal and an early supporter of the bank of North America, of which he was Director from 1818 until 1828. Samuel also served in public office as a member of City Council, the Common Council (1793-1797), and the Upper Chamber (1797-1800), and he was both an incorporator of the Bank of Pennsylvania and its President from 1797-1808. After the Indian treaties of 1784 and 1785, Samuel and George invested heavily in lands in northern and western Pennsylvania, often investing with the Morrises and other Philadelphians. At his death, Samuel held 118,000 acres.

When Temple Franklin returned to Europe in 1792, he turned to his old friend George Fox to oversee his interests in America, particularly the land holdings he inherited and purchased from his father and grandfather. Franklin also left the balance of his grandfather's papers at Fox's estate Champlost, where they had been stored since Benjamin's death in 1790, and most of these were donated to the American Philosophical Society in 1840 after having passed to Fox's son Charles Pemberton Fox.

From the guide to the William Temple Franklin-George Fox Collection, 1791-1800, (American Philosophical Society)

The only son of Benjamin Franklin, William Franklin rose through life from illegitimate birth to become the last Royal Governor of New Jersey. Born in Philadelphia to an unidentified woman of low standing, William was raised by Franklin and his common law wife, Deborah Read Franklin. A favored child, he enjoyed the best education that the city could offer, including two years at Alexander Annand's classical academy, and was still in his teens when he received a commission to serve as Ensign in the 60th Regiment of Foot (the American Regiment) during King George's War. Serving in upstate New York, he distinguished himself for conspicuous bravery and won promotion to Captain of Grenadiers by the war's end, even helping his father to organize the militia in Philadelphia during a furlough in 1747.

After the war, William and his father grew increasingly close, working together on all manner of projects. William joined as an assistant in his father's electrical experiments during the 1750s, and the two worked closely in a variety of civic projects in Philadelphia. Perhaps most propitiously, William also became an important political ally in the antiproprietary faction, writing scathing pamphlets against his father's political foes under the apt pseudonym Humphrey Scourge. In return, Benjamin favored his son by using his political influence to win him appointment to a succession of minor offices, from Clerk of the Assembly to postmaster. He also served at his father's side during the Seven Years' War in organizing the colony's defenses and erecting a series of forts.

In his mid-twenties, William turned to the study of law, reading under Joseph Galloway, who later became a prominent Loyalist, and after his father's removal to London in 1757, with Richard Jackson in the Middle Temple. Ingratiating himself in London society, William earned the attention of John Pownall, Secretary of the Board of Trade, who probably recommended him for higher office. After a brief but intense struggle with the New Jersey Assembly, Pownall and the Earl of Bute had Franklin appointed Royal Governor of New Jersey in August 1762, an office he may have earned without his father's intervention.

William appointment as governor was a watershed in his career, and not merely a step up the ladder. An able administrator, his term in office began just as the colonial crises of mid-century were coming to a head. His relatively enlightened Indian policy and support for internal improvements and legal reforms, including chartering Rutgers University, were received well in the colony, however his unbending enforcement of the Stamp Act and hard line support for the government's policies earned him the disdain of American "patriots." While his father moved ever further into the revolutionary camp, William moved into the Loyalist, providing information on the revolutionary activities in the colony to London and working tirelessly against the cause for independence. After he and his father met at Galloway's estate in May 1775, the two split permanently.

Declared "an enemy to the liberties of this country" by the Continental Congress in June, 1776, William was arrested and held under harsh conditions in New Jersey and Connecticut, refusing to acknowledge to legitimacy of his captors even after being subjected to 250 days of solitary confinement. Exchanged in November 1778, Franklin entered New York, and under the direction of Henry Clinton, unleashed his efforts in the Loyalist cause. Using the formidable organizational skills associated with the Franklins, William helped found the Board of Associated Loyalists and organized Loyalist resistance activities on Long Island and northern New Jersey that were famously -- or infamously -- considered some of the most ruthless in the war. His notoriety was so great that George Washington intervened personally, though without success, in an attempt to coerce Clinton into surrendering the former governor.

With the war all but lost in August 1782, Franklin left for London. In compensation for the considerable estate he lost, he was awarded a mere £1,800 from the Commissioners of Loyalist Claims and was placed on half pay by the Army at the rank of Brigadier General. Disinherited and never fully reconciled with his father, William lived a comfortable life with his second wife, Mary D'Evelyn, a wealthy Irish widow, working as an agent for Loyalist claims.

From the guide to the William Franklin Papers, 1757-1813, (American Philosophical Society)

Associates and friends of Benjamin Franklin and his family, the Fox family came to Philadelphia in 1686, when the Quaker convert Justinian Fox (1673-1718) arrived aboard the Desire from his native Plymouth, England. Justinian's son Joseph Fox (ca.1710-1779) prospered after taking an apprenticeship with the carpenter James Portues, a founder of the Carpenters' Company, acquiring substantial property holdings in the city and serving in offices ranging from City Commissioner to Member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, including two stints as Speaker and one as a member of the Committee of Correspondence, a group responsible for communications with the colony's Agents in London, Benjamin Franklin and Richard Jackson. Read out of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in 1756 for refusal to withdraw from public office, and for "having violated our testimony against war," Fox's principaled refusal to accept Continental money for debts owed him in 1775 fueled rumors that he held Loyalist sympathies during the Revolution. He was a member of the revived American Philosophical Society at the time its merger with the American Society in 1769.

Joseph and his wife Elizabeth Mickle (1729-1805) had thirteen children, of whom only six survived to adulthood. These six, however, continued the family's prosperity. Their daughter Thomazine Fox (1748-1821) married into the Roberts family, while sons George (1759-1828) and Samuel Mickel Fox I (1763-1808) distinguished themselves in business and intellect. George, who was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1784, represented Philadelphia in the Assembly in 1800, and was widely known as an organizer and director of the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal and as one of the early supporters of the bank of North America, of which he was Director from 1818 until 1828. He traveled extensively in France in the 1770s and 1780s, nearly dying at the chateau of the Comte de Champlost in 1780. He named his estate Champlost, built on the property that his grandfather Justinian Fox had inherited from James Portues.

Samuel Mickle Fox I served in a number of public offices, including the City Council, the Common Council (1793-1797), and the Upper Chamber (1797-1800), and he was both an incorporator of the Bank of Pennsylvania and its President from 1797-1808. After the Indian treaties of 1784 and 1785, Samuel and his brother George acquired immense tracts of land in northwestern Pennsylvania near the Allegheny River north of the Clarion that were patented in 1796. At his death, Samuel held 118,000 acres.

Samuel's son George (1806-1882) was born in a house on the southeast corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. He studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with an AB in 1825 and MD in 1828. A prominent surgeon and Fellow of the College of Physicians, Fox was a member of the delegation from the College of Physicians to the organizing convention of the American Medical Association in 1847.

From the guide to the William Temple Franklin-Charles Pemberton Fox Legal Records, 1692-1881, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Hartley, David, 1732-1813. David Hartley papers, 1783-1785. University of Michigan, William Clements Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous Benjamin Franklin Collections, 1710-1822 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Castle-Bache Collection, 1683-1922 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Franklin, William Temple, 1760-1823. Appointment books ; diaries, 1785-1803. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Fox family. Legal papers, 1686-1881. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Aaron Vanderpoel papers, 1770-1866 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Miscellaneous Benjamin Franklin Collections, 1710-1822 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers, 1730-1791 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Franklin, William Temple, 1760-1823. Miscellaneous manuscripts, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf William Temple Franklin-Charles Pemberton Fox Legal Records, 1692-1881 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Bache, Sarah Franklin, 1743-1808. Correspondence, 1768-1807. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf William Temple Franklin-George Fox Collection, 1791-1800 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866,. Letters of Washington, Franklin, and Lafayette, 1744-1830 (bulk 1777-1779). Cornell University Library
referencedIn Le Veillard, Louis Guillaume, d. 1794. Papers of Louis Guillaume Le Veillard, undated. Library of Congress
referencedIn Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790. Selected art related letters from the Benjamin Franklin papers, 1766-1789. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Bache Papers-Castle Collection, 1766-1946. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843. Houghton Library.
creatorOf William Temple Franklin appointment books: diaries, 1785-1803, 1785-1803 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790. Benjamin Franklin papers, 1726-1907 (bulk 1770-1789). Library of Congress
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers Part 8 -- Letters to Franklin, 1783 December-1786 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Franklin-Bache Papers, 1707-1799 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Cheney family. Cheney family letters, 1778-1933 Connecticut Historical Society
referencedIn West, Benjamin, 1738-1820,. American commissioners of the preliminary peace negotations with Great Britain [photograph], [ca. 1845-1855]. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Franklin, William Temple, 1760-1823. Autograph letter signed : Franklin Park, New Jersey, to [Louis Guillaume] le Veillard, 1786 June 6. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Franklin, William, 1731-1813. Papers, 1760-1813. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn John Vaughan papers, 1768 - Circa 1936, 1768 - Circa 1936 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Fox, George, 1759-1828. Letterbook, 1786-1797. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn David Hartley papers, Hartley, David papers, 1783-1785 William L. Clements Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Letters of Washington, Franklin, and Lafayette, 1744-1830 [bulk 1777-1799] Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Castle-Bache Collection, 1683-1922 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Bache family. Papers, 1770-1890 (bulk), 1770-1923 (inclusive). American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn North American Land Company ledger, 1795-1805, 1795-1805 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Vaughan, John, 1755-1841. Papers, 1768-1922 (inclusive). American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers Part 13 -- Miscellaneous Franklin Materials, 1640-1791 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf William Franklin Papers, 1757-1813 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. Thomas Jefferson letter to William Temple Franklin [manuscript] 1790 July 25. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers Part 6 -- Letters to Franklin, 1781-1782 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf William Temple Franklin diary, 1785, 1785 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Franklin, William Temple, 1760-1823. Correspondence, 1775-1819. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers Part 14 -- Materials held at the University of Pennsylvania, 1705-1788 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Harding, Charlotte, 1873-1951,. Charlotte Hanes Harding autographs collection, 1744-1928. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Tourtellot, Arthur Bernon. Papers, c. 1970s. American Antiquarian Society
referencedIn North American Land Company. Ledger, 1795-1805. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Vanderpoel, Aaron, 1799-1870. Aaron Vanderpoel papers, 1770-1866. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn George Fox letterbook, 1786-1797, 1786-1797 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn William Temple Franklin Papers, 1775-1819 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf William Temple Franklin North American Land Company stock certificate American Numismatic Society
referencedIn Indiana Company. Records relating to claim against Virginia, 1779-1792. Rosenbach Museum & Library
creatorOf Bache family papers, 1770-1890 (bulk), 1770-1923 (inclusive), Bulk, 1770-1890, 1770-1923 (Bulk 1770-1890) American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Franklin, William Temple, 1760-1823. Autograph letters signed (16) : Philadelphia, New York and London, to M. le Veillard, 1785-1792. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Franklin-Bache Papers, 1707-1799 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Morris, Gouverneur, 1752-1816. Gouverneur Morris papers, 1768-1816. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Benjamin Franklin Papers, 1726-1907, (bulk 1770-1789) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
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Place Name Admin Code Country
New Jersey
France
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Philadelphia (Pa.)
United States - Armed Forces - Medical personnel
France
United States - History - 1783-1865
United States
United States
United States - Armed Forces - Medical care
United States - History - Revolution - 1775-1783 - Personal narratives
France
United States
France
Philadelphia (Pa.)
United States - History - Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
Subject
Land and Speculation
Colony and State Specific History
Women's history
Law
Real property--Pennsylvania
Surveying and Maps
American loyalists
Printing and Publishing
Diplomatic History
Colonial Politics
Philadelphia History
Americans Abroad
International affairs
Pennsylvania History
Yellow fever--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
American Revolution
Marriage and Family Life
Occupation
Journalists--Pennsylvania
Statesmen
Physicians--Pennsylvania
Function

Person

Birth 1760

Death 1823-05-25

English,

French

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