Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to James Bowdoin, 14 May 1752

To James Bowdoin

MS not found;7 transcript: Massachusetts Historical Society

Philada. May 14. 1752


I deferred answering yours of March 16th8 in hopes of finding one of the first Edition of Dr. Coldens Pieces,9 which you seem’d desirous to see. I have not been able to get a compleat one, but enclose you some Sheets which the Dr. sent me when it was in the Press. I endeavoured to understand it, and to that End made a few Remarks enpassant, but I found it quite out of my Reach. The Dr.’s Remarks on my Remarks are in the same Paper; which when you have perus’d please to return me. I send you also a late Letter1 from the Dr. as it relates to the same Piece.

I always tho’t it wrong to print private Letters without the Consent of the Writer; but to communicate now and then a philosophical Epistle, to a discrete philosophical Friend, as it tends to mutual Improvement, I do not think it amiss. I am, with great Respect and Esteem Your most humble Servant

B. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The ALS was offered for sale by Charles F. Heartman, Americana, Printed and in Manuscript (Metuchen, N.J., 1930), item 46, where the text of the letter was printed in full.

8See above, p. 277.

9An Explication of the First Causes of Action in Matter (N.Y., 1745). See BF’s remarks on Colden’s theories, above, III, 80. In the summer of 1753 BF took Bowdoin a copy of the 1751 edition of Colden’s book.

1See above, p. 278.

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