Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Ingenhousz, 9 April 1779

From Ingenhousz

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London april 9. 1779

Dear Sir

Since my last of last weak I saw your old femal friend in town. She came to sea me at my lodgings. She is very wel and in good spirits and desires me to send you her best wishes and to acquaint you that she recieved your kind lettre of Jan. last and will answer it in a short time.1 I will endeavour to bring you the copper for to roast a chicken in by a bold of iron, which you bought at cheffield when we were there togeather, or, if I can find an earlier oportunity, I will send it to you. Mr Henley has no pretension upon you, his bill being payd within the month of your departure.

As I may possibly go from here earlyer than I expected, the money transaction of my brother might better be omitted till I see you.2 I expect a lettre from the low countries which will determine my departure from hence. I part with reluctance from a country I like and from friends I esteme, But my duty calls me.

Dr Priestley publishes now a new volum upon air and other articles. It will contain a lettre of mine upon a method of producing at pleasure any quantity of imflammable air without trouble or apparatus.3 He gave me hesterday a hint which I wish government would adopt viz. to send as soon as possible a ship to discovre the North pole. As last sommer was in our hemisphere, or at least in the Northern parts, very hot, and the present winter very mild, it is probable, that the seas will be free from ice.

I am respectfully your most obedient humble servant

J. Ingen Housz

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur francklin / a Passy

Notation: Ingenhousz April 9. 1779.

1BF had written to Margaret Stevenson on Jan. 25: XXVIII, 421–3. In that letter he made the inquiries about the copper pot and Henley’s bill that Ingenhousz mentions below. Mrs. Stevenson began her reply to BF on March 16 (under which date the letter is published), but did not complete it until April 11.

2See Ingenhousz’s letter of April 1.

3For Priestley’s new work see his letter of March 11, where he promised to send BF a copy. Ingenhousz’s contribution to the volume was in the form of a letter to Priestley dated March 1, 1779, and was entitled “A Letter … on the Effect of a new Species of inflammable Air, or Vapour.” It appears on pp. 474–9, and is an early version of the paper he read at the Royal Society on March 25; see his letter of April 1.

Index Entries