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AD : Library of Congress On January 29 Chatham left with Franklin the conciliatory plan that he introduced as a bill in the House of Lords three days later, and the American studied and copied it. At the end of his copy is the following memorandum on the rejection of the bill. The above Plan was offered by the Earl of Chatham to the House of Lords, on Wednesday Feb. 1. 1775, under the Title of...
MS notations in the margins of a copy in the Library of Congress of [Josiah Tucker,] A Series of Answers to Certain Popular Objections, against Separating from the Rebellious Colonies, and Discarding Them Entirely; Being the Concluding Tract of the Dean of Gloucester, on the Subject of American Affairs (Gloucester, 1776). These are the first marginalia by Franklin that deserve extensive...
Reprinted from Samuel Hazard, ed., Hazard’s Register of Pennsylvania ... (16 vols., Philadelphia, [1828–35]), VI , 37. We are extremely skeptical about both these extracts. The date of the first is certainly wrong, because Hodge was not arrested until August 11. Although Hayfield Conyngham, Gustavus’ cousin, may have received advice from Franklin, we have no other evidence of contact between...
AD : American Philosophical Society This is a rare example of Franklin’s thinking on paper for his eye alone. Some of the notes are now beyond understanding and the meaning of others can only be conjectured; but what he is thinking about is clear: how to answer Izard’s letters above of January 28 and 30. All of his few identifiable references, down to the word “Personals,” are to the first...
ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society I did truly tell Capt. Hickey as you mention that I had never given Mr. Parsons the least Encouragement to go to America. Your good Opinion of your Husband, which is very natural and laudable, induces you to think there is some Mistake in this, and you express your Doubt in these Words, “ If IN REALITY he has never had any Countenance from you ,” &c....
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society Wherever it is in my Power, I should certainly pay the greatest Respect to the Recommendation of Madame de la Fayette, but it is absolutely impossible for me to do what is desired for this M. Rolandeau. He was an Officer in the American Service; he left his Regiment without Leave and came to France. If he would return there it should therefore be at...
Reprinted from William Temple Franklin, ed., Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin … (3 vols., 4to, London, 1817–18), III , 308–9. It is now more than 170 years since the translation of our common English Bible. The language in that time is much changed, and the stile being obsolete, and thence less agreeable, is perhaps one reason why the reading of that excellent book is of...
AD : Bibliothèque nationale M. Holcker a appris du docteur francklin qu’une petite cuiellerée à café de quinquinà jettée dans le fond d’un goblet où l’on verse un peu de lait pour Les bien meler ensemble, ensuitte remplissant le reste du goblet avec du lait, et en avalant un verre le matin à jeune, un autre en se mettant à table pour dinner, et un troisieme en se couchant, que çest un...
AL (draft): Library of Congress Mr Franklin presents his respectful Compliments to Madame Bertine, and acquaints her that he long since gave the Recommendatory Letter and Passport desired, to the Portuguese Ambassador, who had before demanded the same thing: and that the Letter receiv’d thro’ her hands from M. le Baron de Jumilhac shall be duly attended to. He begs leave to assure M. Bertin of...
I received your Letter of the 31st past, relating to Encroachments made on the Eastern Limits of the United-States, by Settlers under the British Government, pretending that it is the Western and not the Eastern River of the Bay of Passamaquoddy, which was designated by the Name of St. Croix in the Treaty of Peace with that Nation; and requesting of me to communicate any Facts, which my Memory...
At the Request of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, I have the Honour of presenting to your Excellency the enclosed Petition, which I beg leave to recommend to your favourable Notice. Some further Particulars respecting it, requested by the Society, will appear in their Letter to me, of which I enclose a Copy, and have the Honor to be, Sir, / Your Excellency’s / most...
My Malady renders my Sitting up to write rather painful to me, but I cannot let my Son-in-law Mr Bache part for New York, without congratulating you by him on the Recovery of your Health, so precious to us all, and on the growing Strength of our New Government under your Administration. For my own personal Ease, I should have died two Years ago; but tho’ those Years have been spent in...
I have made a rule to myself that your Excellency should not be troubled with any solicitations from me for favors to any even of my nearest connections, but here is a matter of justice in which the honor of our country is concerned, and therefore I cannot refuse giving this line for your information. Mr. Le Ray de Chaumont, father of the young gentleman who will have the honor of waiting on...
Mr. Hopkinson has communicated to me a Letter of yours with a Proposal of a Mr. Pissot’s respecting his Editions of English Books. I am much oblig’d by your thinking of my Grandson on this Occasion; And if Mr. Pissot will send over a Dozen of each Work as a Trial, I will take Care that the Terms propos’d shall be punctually comply’d with. Our Disputes here about the new Constitution are...
Mr. Frazer , who will have the honour of delivering this Line to your Excellency, is a Gentleman of respectable Character here, and as such I beg leave to recommend him to your Civilities. He has in France a young Sister, who was left there some time since in a Convent for Improvement in her Education, and has it seems been seduc’d to resolve on remaining there; and on abandoning her Relations...
I take this Opportunity of sending you another Copy of the propos’d new federal Constitution, and of acquainting you that the Box containing the Encyclopedia for me and Mr. Hopkinson is just come to hand in good Order. With great Respect and Esteem I am, Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant, RC ( DLC ). Not recorded in SJL but entered in SJL Index and, therefore, probably...
Philadelphia, June 2, 1787. On this date Benjamin Franklin moved that the expenses of the proposed Executive should be paid but that he should receive “no salary, stipend fee or reward whatsoever” for his service. “The motion was seconded by Col. HAMILTON with the view he said merely of bringing so respectable a proposition before the Committee, and which was besides enforced by arguments that...
I received by Dr White the Letter you did me the honour of writing to me the 27th of January, together with two Copies of your Defence of the American Constitutions, one for myself for which I beg you would accept my Thanks, the other for the Philosophical Society, whose Secretary will of course officially acknowledge the Obligation. That Work is in such Request here, that it is already put to...
I have lately received your Favour of Dec. 23. The Diplomas I hope are got to hand before this time. I am much oblig’d by your taking care of my Encyclopedie. Mr. Hopkinson will account with you for it. I am glad to learn that every thing is quiet in Europe, and like to continue so. I hope the same will be the case here; tho’ Boutdefeus are not wanting among us, who by inflammatory Writings in...
I have often thought that the Number of People, who by Curiosity and the Admiration of your Character are drawn to call at Mt Vernon, must be very troublesome to you, and have therefore generally declin’d giving any introductory Letters. But my Nephew Mr Jonathan Williams, who was a faithful and active Agent of the United States during the whole War, in shipping Stores, Arms, Ammunition &c....
I obey with Pleasure the Order of the Philosophical Society, in transmitting to you the enclos’d Proof of their Respect for you, and of the honour they have done themselves, in chusing you one of their Members. With this you will receive several Diplomas for foreign Gentlemen in different Parts of Europe, which I imagine you may convey to them thro’ the Ministers of different Courts residing...
M r Swanwick at whose Request I write this Line to your Excellency, will acquaint you with his Motives for desiring it. If you can in any way contribute to the Success of an Application he is making in Behalf of his Father, you will serve in the Son a constant firm Friend of the American Cause, and otherwise a most worthy Character much respected here. You will also greatly oblige, / Sir, /...
I received your Favour of Oct. 5. by Messrs. Fitzhughs, with the Letters and Pacquets you were so kind as to forward to me by those Gentlemen, who have winter’d with us, and are but lately set out for Virginia. I will read du Plessis’s Papers as soon as I can find a little time; and say some thing of them in a future Letter. As to public Affairs, the Congress has not been able to assemble more...
AD : American Philosophical Society Along with the official letter of appointment as sole minister plenipotentiary, Franklin also received from Lafayette’s hand several private letters from Philadelphia, dated October 21 and 22, 1778, which bore disturbing news: Ralph Izard, throughout their months of bitter controversy, had been secretly airing his grievances against the elder commissioner in...
Draft: American Philosophical Society Les suffrages que vos vers ont obtenus, Monsieur, vous asseurent de leur bonté, je voudrois savoir assez le françois pour sentir tout leur mérite et je vous remercie de l’honeur que vous m’avez fait de me les envoyer; j’ay reçu ce que vous aviez chargé Mr. Brisson de me remettre et j’accepte le ris du thibet a balles noires que vous m’offrez; je ne veux...
Printed by Benjamin Franklin, Passy [1780]: Yale University Library Franklin had never intended that his pseudo-chapter of Genesis (1755), later known as “Parable Against Persecution,” be published. The piece, which he had printed on a slip of paper and hidden in his Bible, was a private joke; his now-legendary recitations were a harmless hoax meant to provoke and amuse the company. When...
I wrote to you by a former Opportunity , to acquaint you with our safe Arrival. Mr. Houdon, who had been much perplex’d by the Accident of leaving his Things behind him, has found here the Tools and Materials he wanted, and set out last Wednesday for General Washington’s. My Grandson went the Day after to New York, where the Congress are still sitting, and likely to sit the Year out, having as...
I am just arrived from a Country, where the Reputation of General Washington runs very high, and where every body wishes to see him in Person, but being told that it is not likely he will ever favour them with a Visit, they hope at least for a Sight of his perfect Resemblance by means of their Principal Statuary Mr Houdon, whom Mr Jefferson and my self agreed with to come over for the purpose...
I have just received your Favour of the 18th. I thank you for the Steps you took with the Duke of Dorset, and with Mr. Adams; and hope they will prove effectual. I arrived here extreamly well, not at all hurt or fatigued by the Carriage I us’d, which I found generally very gentle. I embark this Evening for Cowes with Mr. Houdon. I have seen that M. du Plessis twice. He appears a Man of some...
Mr. Franklin presents his respectful Compliments to Mr. Jefferson, and requests he would be so good as to ask either of the Imperial and Sardinian Ambassadors the Favour of forwarding the enclos’d Letters, of which they will make no Difficulty. Mr. F. also recommends Dr. Ingenhauss to Mr. Jefferson, as a proper Correspondent in case he should have any thing to insinuate to that Court. Dr. F’s...