Benjamin Franklin Papers

Notes on Reading an Account of Travel in China, [1762?]

Notes on Reading an Account of Travel in China

AD: American Philosophical Society

These notes in Franklin’s hand appear to have been memoranda jotted down during the reading of some unidentified account of travel in the Far East. The listing of the eclipses suggests that the date was not earlier than 1762, though Franklin’s reading might well have taken place considerably later.


Painted Candles, of what are they made?

Vinegar of Liche, what is it?9

A Silversmith and his Apprentice earn 6s. 3d. in 22 Days. Their Provisions allow’d cost 3d. per Day.

Physicians Pay, for a Visit of 4 Miles, in a Chair receives One Mace 4 Candrins. Note the 4 Candrins is for Chair hire. The Mace is 7½d. Sterling 10 Candrins is a Mace

Oct. 17. 1762 between 5 and 6 PM. an Eclipse of the Sun1

Nov. 12. 1761 A total Eclipse of the Moon near Canton, between 6 and 10 aClock PM

Nov 2. 1762 An Eclipse of the Moon at 4 in the Morning

Fees paid on a Gift from the King of £200 amounted to £23 5s. 6d.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Possibly a vinegar made from the fruit of the litchi (Nephelium litchi), a tree of the soapberry family native to China and cultivated elsewhere in eastern and southern Asia and nearby islands.

1The three eclipses noted here are also listed in Poor Richard for 1761 or 1762, with Philadelphia times very roughly corresponding to those given here after allowing for the difference in longitude from Canton. There is a short account of the eclipse of the moon at Canton, Nov. 12, 1761, in Phil. Trans., LXIV (1774), 43.

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