Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Morris, 20 February 1761

To Joseph Morris2

Copy: Library Company of Philadelphia3

London Feby: 20th. 1761

Dear Friend

I received your’s of Oct: 21 and Nov: 11 relating to the Library Affairs,4 which I have endeavoured to comply with by engaging a very honest and diligent Book-seller5 to provide and send the Books ordered by the Directors. Enclosed is the Invoice and Bill of Lading. I hope they will come safe to Hand and give Satisfaction. He has by my Direction added some late Books not in your List, but which I imagine the Company would like to have. My best Respects to the Directors my old Friends, whom I long once more to see. I have acquainted Mr. Collinson6 with the Mistake of the £30. Bill and shall settle the Company’s Account with him as you desire. I believe he has put some Books into the Box which he had bought for the Company before your letter to me came to hand.

B: Franklin

To Mr. Jos: Morris

London 1761 Benjamin Franklin Esq. Dr. to Thos. Becket (for the Library Company Philadelphia) shipt on Board the Dragon Capt. Hammet7

Jany. 24th [?] Philada.
Linnaeus on Botany. by Lee 8vo.8 £– 5:
Hill’s British Herbal. Folio 1: 10:
Magen’s on Insurances. 2 Vol: Quarto 1: 8:
Rowning’s Nat: Philos: 2 Vol: 8vo 14.
Sherlocks Sermons. 4 Vols. do 1: 0:
Macquere’s Chymistry. 2 Vol. do9 10:
D’a Costa’s Nat: Hist: of Fossils Vol: 1 4to. 13:
Davilla’s Hist: of France. 2 Vol. 4to 1: 15:
Cantillon’s Analysis of Trade &c. 5:
Du Hammel’s Husbandry 4to. 15:
Memoirs of a Protestant condemn’d to the Gallies1 £– 6:
Coopers Art of Distilling 4:
Clarendon’s Posthumous Works 3 Vol: 18:
Newton on Prophecy 3 Vols. 15:
Dalrymple on Feudal Property 5:
Harris’s Justinian2 15:
Crit: Enq: into Opinions ant[ient] Philosophers 4: 6
Abbe La Pluche’s Evangelical Hist: 2 Vol. 10:
The figure of the Earth demonstrated 5:
Warner’s Life of Sir Thos. Moore 5:
Basnages Continuation of Josephus3 18:
Edward’s Cannons of Criticism 5:
Chapman’s Cyder Maker 2:
Handmaid to the Arts 2 Vol. 12:
Smallet’s Hist: of England 4 Vol: 4to. 3: 10:
Jewish Letters 5 Vols.4 15:
Memoirs of the Bashaw Count Bonneval £– 6:
Lord Lyttleton’s Dialogues 5:
Yorick’s Sermons 2 Vol. 6:
Walker’s Voyages 6:
Birche’s Life of P. Henry5 6:
Mountagu on Republic’s 5:
Webb on Painting 3:
Hooke’s Negotiations 4: 6
Ferguson’s Lectures 7: 6
Hurde’s Dialogues6 5:
Fragments of antient Poetry 1:
Historical Law Tracts 6:
Principles of Equity 16:
Law of Coroners 10: 6
Fabricius’s Letters7 5:
Considerations on the German War 2:
Vindication of the Ministry 0: 6
Revolutions in Bengal 2:
Box, Cordage, Custom House Entry’s Bills of Lading &c. 15:
Freight and Primage 12: 6
Insurance on £24 at 12 Guineas per Cent. 3: 0: 6
£28: 9: 6
[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Joseph Morris (1715–1785) was a member of the Board of Managers of the Pa. Hospital (above, V, 290), 1751–57, 1769–81, and a member of the first Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Contributionship (above, IV, 290). At this time he was treasurer of the Library Co. Robert C. Moon, The Morris Family of Philadelphia (Phila., 1898), I, 274–6.

3In the minutes of the Board of Directors.

4Neither of these letters has been found.

5Thomas Becket of Tully’s Head in the Strand, the publisher of BF’s The Interest of Great Britain Considered. Laurence Sterne also found Becket “a man of probity.” H. R. Plomer, G. H. Bushnell, E. R. McC. Dix, A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers … in England Scotland and Ireland from 1726 to 1775 (Oxford, 1932), pp. 20–1.

6Peter Collinson had been a purchasing agent for and benefactor of the Library Co. since its inception. See above, I, 248–9; III, 49.

7The Dragon, Capt. Francis Hammett, sailed from Portsmouth, March 31, 1760, and arrived in Philadelphia, May 24, 1761. Pa. Gaz., May 28, 1761.

8The first five works in this list may be identified as follows: James Lee, tr., An Introduction to the Science of Botany … Extracted from the Works of Linnaeus (London, 1760); Sir John Hill, The British Herbal; An History of Plants and Trees Natives of Britain (London, 1756); Nicholas Magens, An Essay on Insurances (2 vols., London, 1755); John Rowning, A Compendious System of Natural Philosophy (3d edit., reprinted, 2 vols., London, 1759); Thomas Sherlock, Several Discourses Preached at the Temple Church (4 vols., London, 1759). Here and in the following notes the editions sent at this time have sometimes been determined by reference to The Charter, Laws, and Catalogue of Books, of the Library Company of Philadelphia (Phila., 1764). In some instances of very long titles only the essential first parts are given here, and the remainder silently omitted.

9The five works beginning with this one are: Pierre-Joseph Macquer, Elements of the Theory and Practice of Chymistry. Translated (2 vols., London, 1758); Emanuel Mendes da Costa, A Natural History of Fossils, I, pt. I (London, 1757); Enrico Caterino Davila, The History of the Civil Wars of France … A New Translation … by Ellis Farneworth (2 vols., London, 1758); Philip Cantillon, The Analysis of Trade, Commerce, Coin, Bullion, Banks, and Foreign Exchanges (London, 1759); Duhamel du Monceau, A Practical Treatise of Husbandry (London, 1759).

1The five works beginning with this one are: [Jean Marteilhé], Memoirs of a Protestant Condemned to the Galleys of France for His Religion (London, 1758); Ambrose Cooper, The Complete Distiller (London, 1757); Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon … Written by Himself. Printed from His Original Manuscripts (3 vols., London, 1759); Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies (3 vols., London, 1759); Sir John Dalrymple, An Essay towards a General History of Feudal Property in Great Britain (3d edit., London, 1758).

2The five works beginning with this one are: George Harris, D. Justiniani Institutionum Libri quatori … translated into English with Notes (2d edit., London, 1761); John Towne, A Critical Inquiry into the Opinions and Practice of the Ancient Philosophers (2d edit., London, 1758); Noël Antoine Pluche, The Truth of the Gospel Demonstrated (2 vols., London, 1751); Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, The Figure of the Earth Determined (London, 1738); Ferdinando Warner, Memoirs of the Life of Sir Thomas More (London, 1758).

3The five works beginning with this one are: Jacques Basnage de Beauval, The History of the Jews, from Jesus Christ to the Present Time … Being a Supplement and Continuation of the History of Josephus (London, 1708); Thomas Edwards, The Canons of Criticism and Glossary; the Trial of the Letter Y, and Sonnets (London, 1758); Thomas Chapman, The Cyder-Maker’s Instructor (Cirencester, [1757]); [Robert Dossie], The Handmaid to the Arts (2 vols., London, 1758); Tobias Smollett, A Complete History of England (4 vols., London, 1757–58).

4The five works beginning with this one are: Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d’Argens, The Jewish Spy. Being a Philosophical, Historical and Critical Correspondence (5 vols., London, 1744); Memoirs of the Bashaw Count Bonneval (London, 1750); George, 1st Baron Lyttelton, Dialogues of the Dead (London, 1760); Laurence Sterne, The Sermons of Mr. Yorick (vols. I and II, London, 1760); Voyages and Cruises of Commodore [George] Walker during the Last Spanish and French Wars (2 vols., London, 1760).

5The five works beginning with this one are: Thomas Birch, The Life of Henry, Prince of Wales (Dublin, 1760); Edward Wortley Montagu, Jr., Reflections on the Rise and Fall of the Antient Republics (London, 1759); Daniel Webb, An Inquiry into the Beauties of Painting (London, 1760); Nathaniel Hooke, The Secret History of Colonel Hooke’s Negociations in Scotland, in Favour of the Pretender, in 1707 (London, 1760); James Ferguson, Lectures on Select Subjects in Mechanics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics, and Optics (London, 1760).

6The five works beginning with this one are: Richard Hurd, Moral and Political Dialogues (London, 1759; 2d edit., 1760); James Macpherson, Fragments of Ancient Poetry, Collected in the Highlands of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1760); Henry Home, Lord Kames, Historical Law-Tracts (Edinburgh, 1761); Henry Home, Lord Kames, Principles of Equity (London, 1760); Edward Umphreville, Lex coronatoria; or the Office and Duty of Coroners (2 vols., London, 1761).

7This and the remaining works listed are: Ernst Friedrich von Fabrice, The Genuine Letters of Baron Fabricius … to Charles XII of Sweden (London, 1761); [Israel Mauduit], Considerations on the Present German War (London, 1760); possibly [anonymous] A Vindication of the Conduct of the Present War (London, 1760); John Campbell, Memoirs of the Revolution in Bengal, anno. Dom. 1757 (London, 1760).

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