Decorated initial D

David (Davie) Hall became a partner in Benjamin Franklin’s printing business early in 1748 when he decided to devote his energies to other matters, a move not always appreciated by Hall, who complained to Strahan in a letter of December, 1755 that the struggle with marauding Indians “employs Mr. Franklin so much that he has no Time to think any Thing about our particular Business, which gives me the more work.” The partnership was dissolved in 1766, and David Hall took the printing and publishing business over on his own. Not without some acrimony, however: Hall reproached Franklin with lending support to a rival print shop and Franklin had to respond that, though he had indeed been offered an opportunity to become a partner in the rival business, he would refrain from doing so, as long as Hall provided him with more of what he, Franklin, felt he was owed. Strahan’s influence thus extended to the New World.


Cochrane, J. A. . Dr. Johnson’s Printer: The Life of William Strahan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964.

Doren, Carl van. Benjamin Franklin (1938). Cleveland and New York: World Publishing, 1948.

Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003.

Lemay, J.A. Leo. The Life of Benjamin Franklin. Vol. 3. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.

Morgan, Edmund S. Benjamin Franklin. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002.

Papers of Benjamin Franklin, The. Ed. Leonard. W. Larabee et al. 37 vols. (to date). New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1959 —.

The Franklin Papers, which are the common source of all modern studies of him, contain about 90 exchanges between Franklin and Hall from January, 1748 until March, 1772 and as many between Franklin and Strahan between 1743 and 1785); also the David Hall letterbooks at the American Philosophical Society.

Last modified 20 September 2018