To Cadwallader Colden
ALS: New-York Historical Society; also transcript: Library of Congress
New York, April 5. 1744
Happening to be in this City about some particular Affairs, I have the Pleasure of receiving yours of the 28th past, here.4 And can now acquaint you, that the Society, as far as relates to Philadelphia, is actually formed,5 and has had several Meetings to mutual Satisfaction; assoon as I get home, I shall send you a short Account of what has been done and propos’d at those Meetings. The Members are6
|Dr. Thomas Bond, as Physician|
|Mr. John Bartram as Botanist|
|Mr. Thomas Godfrey as Mathematician|
|Mr. Saml. Rhodes7 as Mechanician|
|Mr. Wm. Parsons as Geographer|
|Dr. Phineas Bond as General Nat. Philosopher|
|Mr. Thos. Hopkinson||President|
|Mr. Wm. Coleman8||Treasurer|
To whom the following Members have since been added, viz. Mr. Alexander of New York.9 Mr. Morris (Ch. Justice of the Jerseys.)1 Mr. Home Secretary of Ditto.2 Mr. Jno. Coxe of Trenton3 and Mr. Martyn of the same Place.4 Mr. Nickolls5 tells me of several other Gentlemen of this City that incline to encourage the Thing. And there are a Number of others in Virginia, Maryland, Carolina, and the New England Colonies, who we expect to join us, assoon as they are acquainted that the Society has begun to form itself. I am, Sir, with much Respect Your most humble Servant
Addressed: To The Honbl. Cadwallader Colden Esqr at Coldengham
Endorsed: B. Frankilin
4. Not found.
5. See above, pp. 378–83.
6. Biographical notes on Thomas and Phineas Bond, Bartram, Godfrey, Parsons, and Hopkinson appear elsewhere in this and the preceding volume. See indexes.
7. Samuel Rhoads (1711–1784), carpenter and builder, president of the Carpenters’ Company, 1780–84, supervised the construction of BF’s house in 1764–65. He was a common councilor, alderman, and mayor of Philadelphia, 1774; member of the Assembly, 1761–63, 1770–74; and a delegate to the First Continental Congress. He was a director of the Library Company and an original manager of the Pennsylvania Hospital, 1751–81. Henry D. Biddle, “Colonial Mayors of Philadelphia. Samuel Rhoads, 1774,” PMHB, XIX (1895), 64–71.
8. William Coleman (1704–1769), merchant, an original member of the Junto, who helped BF set up as a printer, 1728, was later a common councilor, clerk of the city court, justice of the peace, and, in 1758, a justice of the Supreme Court. He was a trustee of the Academy. Of him BF wrote in his autobiography that he “had the coolest, clearest head, the best heart, and the exactest morals of almost any man I ever met with.” Montgomery, Hist. Univ. Pa., pp. 107–8.
1. Robert Hunter Morris (c. 1700–1764), chief justice of New Jersey, 1738–64; governor of Pennsylvania, 1754–56. DAB. His career is treated more fully hereafter.
2. Archibald Home (d. 1744), born in Scotland; came to America before 1733; deputy secretary of New Jersey and secretary of the New Jersey Council, 1738; member of the Council, 1741; a poet of some ability, who translated Ovid, Horace, and French poets, composed elegies, and verses in Scots dialect. I N.J. Arch., XII, 154–6.
3. John Coxe (d. 1753), lawyer, member of the New Jersey Council, 1746–50. Governor Belcher suspended him in a dispute over appointments and salaries. I N.J. Arch., VII, 6, 546–8.
4. David Martin (d. 1751), first marshall of Trenton under the charter of 1745; sheriff of Hunterdon Co., 1747; first rector of the Academy of Philadelphia, 1750–51. Richard Peters described him as “a perfect good scholar, and a man of good temper.” Hubertis Cummings, Richard Peters (Phila., 1944), p. 146.
5. Richard Nicholls (d. 1775), lawyer, postmaster of New York. N.-Y. Hist. Soc. Colls., 1899, pp. 295–6. He played a useful part by forwarding correspondence among BF, Colden, Bartram, and others.