Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Logan, 12 January 1750

From James Logan

Letterbook abstract: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

11 [January] 12th [1750]

My Esteemed Friend

I wrote to him to come up hither next first day if the weather was good Seeing while the Assembly Sits I can appoint no other day and if my Son has delivered him the Magic Squares I pray him to bring them with him.3 His affectionate friend


To B. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3“Our Benj. Franklin is certainly an Extraordinary Man in most respects,” Logan wrote Peter Collinson, Feb. 14, 1750, “—one of a singular good Judgment, but of Equal Modesty. He is Clerk of our Assembly, and there for want of other Employment, while he sate idle, he took it in his head to think of Magical Squares, in which he outdid Frenicle himself who published above 80 pages in folio on that subject alone.” Transcript: Harvard Coll. Lib. (Sparks). Bernard Frénicle de Bessy’s 84-page work appeared in Divers Ouvrages de Mathématique et de Physique par Messieurs de l’ Académie Royale des Sciences, of which a copy was in Logan’s library. Edwin Wolf, 2nd, “The Romance of James Logan’s Books,” 3 Wm. and Mary Quar., XIII (1956), 349 n. For a full description of BF’s magic squares and circles, see his letters to Collinson, 1752.

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