From Philip Syng4
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Philada. March 1st. 1766
I received yours of the 26th of September last,5 with your very agreeable Present Doctor Lewis’s new Work.6 You judged very right that I should find in it entertaining Particulars in my Way— the Management of Gold and Silver is treated of in it better and more particularly than I have met with in any Author.
The regard you have always shewn me requires my acknowledgment, which I wish to make by serviceable Actions, because they speak louder than Words, but I fear I shall die insolvent. The Junto fainted last Summer in the hot Weather and has not yet reviv’d, your Presence might reanimate it, without which I apprehend it will never recover. I am dear Sir your Affectionate Friend and obliged Humble Servant
Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esqr / Post Master general of / North America / in London / per Captn Sparks
4. For Syng, one of BF’s oldest friends, see above, I, 209–10 n.
5. Not found.
6. Almost certainly William Lewis’s Commercium Philosophico-Technicum, or The Philosophical Commerce of Arts (London, 1763–65). Lewis (1708–1781), M.B., Cambridge, 1731, was elected F.R.S. in 1745 and received the Copley Medal in 1754 for his work on platinum; he was also a member of the Society of Arts, whose gold medal he received for his studies of American potash. His Philosophical Commerce of Arts was a treatise on the possible industrial applications of metals and other raw materials. The first part of the book analyzed the physics, chemistry, and uses of gold, a subject of particular interest to silversmith Syng, as he notes later in this letter. For Lewis, see F. W. Gibbs, “William Lewis, M.B., F.R.S. (1708–1781),” Annals of Science, viii (1952), 122–51.