Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Hughes with Franklin’s Receipt, [24 March 1757]

From John Hughes4 with Franklin’s Receipt

I. MS not found; reprinted from Pennsylvania History, VI (1939), 15;5

II. ADS: Yale University Library

The minutes of the Society of Arts (see above, VI, 186–9 n) for the meeting of Sept. 7, 1757, note that Franklin attended and read the extract of a letter from John Hughes printed as No. I below; that Franklin paid in the donation; and that the Society voted their thanks to Hughes for his gift and to Franklin for his trouble. The date on Franklin’s autograph receipt to Hughes, printed as No. II below, suggests the probable date of the original letter.


[March 24, 1757]

I herewith put into your Hands Thirty two Dollars which I desire you to present to the Society you mentioned to me some time ago, and be pleased to let them know I commit it to their Direction to be laid out either for the good of Great Britain or America as they think proper.


Receiv’d March 24. 1757 of Mr. John Hughes Thirty-two Dollars, being his Present to the Society for Promoting Arts and Manufactures; and Eight Dollars to be laid out in a Thermometer and Barometer, per me

B Franklin6

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4See above, VI, 284–5 n.

5In an article by Frank R. Lewis, “Benjamin Franklin and the Society of Arts.”

6An undated entry in BF’s accounts shows that he paid £7 4s. to the “Society of Arts &c. on Account of Mr. Hughes, the Money he sent.” Another group of entries, dated Oct. 14, 1757, record payment of “Nairn’s bill for Barometer &c. £5 1s. 0d. of which the Barometer [cost] £1 16s. 0d. and one Thermometer £1 11s. 6d. Case and Porter 3s. [a total of] £3 10s. 6d. for J. Hughes.” “Account of Expences” (below, p. 164), pp. 7, 5; PMHB, LV (1931), 105, 104. BF and Hughes were appointed to supervise premiums the Society offered to encourage silk culture in Pa., April 5, 1758. BF may have helped draft the statement about the premiums, printed in the American Magazine for July 1758. His interest in silk culture in Pa. continued throughout his life.

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