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MS not found; abstract: Minute-Book of the Academy Trustees, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania At a Meeting of the Trustees at the Academy March 14th 1758 Present Richard Peters Thomas White William Coleman Alexander Stedman Mr. Franklin having by a Letter to Mr. Coleman dated from London Dec. 8th 1757 requested him to inform the Trustees that he had on their Account discharged a Bill...
Copy: American Philosophical Society Understanding that it is intended to give the Publick, some Account of our dear departed Friend Mr. Peter Collinson, I cannot omit expressing my Approbation of the Design, as the Characters of good Men are exemplary, and often stimulate the well-disposed to an Imitation beneficial to Mankind, and honourable to themselves. And as you may be unacquainted with...
ALS : Yale University Library I am but lately return’d from my Tour of these Northern Colonies, having been from the Southernmost Part of Virginia to the easternmost Part of New England. I think I wrote you from Boston that I had by a Fall dislocated my right Arm at the Shoulder Joint; it is now pretty well recovered, tho’ not quite so strong as before. Your obliging Favours of June 8, and 28;...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I am just return’d from Albany, where were Commissioners from seven Provinces to treat with the Indians of the Six Nations. I suppose the Treaty will be printed, and I shall send you a Copy. At present can only mention, that we brighten’d the Chain with them &c. and parted good Friends; but in my Opinion no Assistance is to be expected from them in any...
Duplicate: Pierpont Morgan Library I enclose three Bills, viz. A second for £50 Sterling, drawn by Thos. Saul on Wm. Baker. A first — £20 — — Mary Steevens—Alexr. Grant. A first — £30 — — Philip Ludwell Wm. Bowden. When paid, please to Credit my Account with them. I am Yours most affectionately P.S. We agree perfectly well with the Governor, but are very angry with the Proprietors and the...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library The preceding are Copies of my late Letters; to which I have little to add, except to request you would send the Magazines mention’d in the enclos’d List, which it seems are still wanting to compleat the Sets in the Library. It may be well enough to forbear sending the Universal Magazine for the future, it contains little of Value I inclose also an Almanack, and...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library; also extract: The Royal Society The above is a Copy of my last, and I now send the two second Bills of Steevens and Ludwell. I wrote then in great Hurry, being just setting out for the Frontiers, to visit some of the Forts with the Governor; a long Journey. Since our Return, I have scarce had a Moment’s Time to write to my Friends, the Assembly sitting twice a...
Copy: New-York Historical Society Since September last, having been abroad on two long Journeys, and otherwise much engag’d, I have made but few Observations on the positive and negative State of Electricity in the Clouds. But Mr. Kinnersley kept his Rod and Bells in good Order, and has made many. Once this Winter the Bells rang a long time during a fall of Snow, tho’ no Thunder was heard nor...
MS not found; reprinted from The Gentleman’s Magazine , XX (1750), 208. I was very much pleased with some ingenious papers in the late Transactions on the subject of electricity. There is something however in the experiments of points, sending off, or drawing on, the electrical fire, which has not been fully explained, and which I intend to supply in my next. For the doctrine of points is very...
Draft: American Philosophical Society The above is a Copy of my last. I hope you have receiv’d a Bill for £75 Sterling. I sent you the 1st per in mine of the 27th of August last, when I wrote for one of Mr. Smeaton’s New Air Pumps for the Academy. I now send another Bill for £30 Sterling on the same Account together with a List of some Philosophical Implements that will be wanted towards our...
Copy: New York Public Library; also copies: Public Record Office, American Philosophical Society, and (part only) British Museum Although this is one of Franklin’s most important letters, there has been difficulty about both its date and its recipient. Moreover, it has never been printed accurately, nor can it be here, for no Franklin autograph has been found. The two fullest surviving...
Transcript: Historical Society of Pennsylvania With regard to the Germans, I think Methods of great tenderness should be used, and nothing that looks like a hardship be imposed. Their fondness for their own Language and Manners is natural: It is not a Crime. When People are induced to settle a new Country by a promise of Privileges, that Promise should be bonâ fide performed, and the...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library I arrived here the first of last Month, and had the great Happiness, after so long Absence, to find my little Family well, and my Friends as cordial and more numerous than ever. Mr. Bartram I suppose writes to you concerning the great Bones at the Ohio. I have delivered to him and to the Library Company what you sent by me. There is great Complaint here of the...
Printed in Benjamin Franklin, Supplemental Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Part II . … (London, 1753), pp. 108–[9]. (Yale University Library) As you tell me our friend Cave is about to add some later experiments to my pamphlet, with the Errata , I send a coppy of a letter from Dr. Colden which may help to fill a few pages; also my kite experiment in the Pennsylvania Gazette: to...
ADS and AD enclosure: British Museum I have heard of an Account you lately received from Russia of some Discovery of an ancient Sepulchre in the Frontiers of that Country. I wish I could see that Account. In the mean time I send you a Passage I have met with in Herodotus, that most ancient Historian, concerning the Sepulchres of the Sythian Kings, which may possibly throw some Light on this...
MS not found; reprinted from Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London, 1769), pp. 356–9. As you have my former papers on Whirlwinds, &c. I now send you an account of one which I had lately an opportunity of seeing and examining myself. Being in Maryland, riding with Col. Tasker, and some other gentlemen to his country-seat, where I and my son were entertained by...
MS not found; reprinted from extract in Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London, 1769), pp. 1–2. This is the earliest surviving letter in which Franklin alludes to his electrical investigations. It introduced the fourth edition of his Experiments and Observations in 1769. That edition, its predecessors and its successor, will be discussed below, under their...
Copy: Massachusetts Historical Society In my former Paper on this Subject, wrote first in 1747, enlarged and sent to England in 1749, I considered the Sea as the grand source of Lightning, imagining its luminous Appearance to be owing to Electric Fire, produced by Friction between the Particles of Water and those of Salt. Living far from the Sea I had then no opportunity of making Experiments...
Printed in Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London, 1769), pp. 350–4; also draft (fragment): American Philosophical Society. The earliest surviving reference to Franklin’s magic squares and circles is in a letter from James Logan, January 12, 1750 (see above, III , 458), asking him to bring copies of his work to Stenton. Actually, Franklin had first contrived...
Duplicate: Pierpont Morgan Library I have now the Pleasure of yours of the 7th and 10th. of September, and have received the old Book of Voyages, the Magazines for August, and Messrs. Hoadly and Wilson on Electricity. We have hitherto preserv’d a good Agreement with our new Governor; tho’ it seems that some evil Counsellors about him would fain get him into a Quarrel with us; but I hope it...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library Budden is arrived, and every thing you sent per him come safe to hand. Both the Library-Company and the Academy are exceedingly oblig’d to you, and would be glad of any Opportunity of serving you or any of your Friends. The Academy goes on as one could wish: We have excellent Masters, and the Boys improve surprizingly: The Number now 70 and daily encreasing. I...
ALS : The British Museum I have before me your kind Notices of Feb. 3. and Feb. 10. Those you enclos’d for our Friend Bartram, were carefully deliver’d. I have not yet seen the Squib you mention against your People, in the Supplement to the Magazine; but I think it impossible they should be worse us’d there than they have lately been here; where sundry inflammatory Pamphlets are printed and...
Copy: American Academy of Arts and Sciences As you first put us on Electrical Experiments by sending to our Library-Company a Tube with Directions how to use it; and as our honourable Proprietor enabled us to carry those Experiments to a greater Height, by his generous Present of a complete Electrical Apparatus; ’Tis fit that both should know from Time to Time what Progress we make. It was in...
Copy: American Academy of Arts and Sciences In my last I informed you that In pursuing our Electrical Enquiries, we had observ’d some particular Phaenomena, which we lookt upon to be new, and of which I promised to give you some Account; tho’ I apprehended they might possibly not be new to you, as so many Hands are daily employed in Electrical Experiments on your Side the Water, some or other...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library I wrote a few Lines by a Vessel that went from hence about 2 Weeks since, acknowledging the Receipt of your several Favours of July 30. Augt. 6, and 23. and Sept. 18. Sundry Affairs have retarded my Return home, but tomorrow I purpose to set out. I am much oblig’d to you for the favourable Light you put me in, to our Proprietor, as mention’d in yours of July 30. I...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library I have receiv’d your several Favours of April 1. June 2. June 14 and Augt. 20, and some others, with all the Books and Pamphlets you have sent at sundry Times for the Library Company: We wish it were in our Power to do you or any Friend of yours some Service in Return for your long-continued Kindness to us. I am pleas’d to hear that my Electrical Experiments were...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library Mr. Bartram brings a Box to my House, which has a little Vacancy in it; so I put in my Philosophical Pacquet, which I long since intended to send you, but one thing or other has prevented. I would not have any Part of it printed, (unless you should think that printing the Papers relating to Whirlwinds and Water Spouts, together with a Collection of all the...
MS not found; reprinted from Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London, 1769), p. 165. In my last, via Virginia, I promised to send you per next ship, a small philosophical pacquet: But now having got the materials (old letters and rough drafts) before me, I fear you will find it a great one. Nevertheless, as I am like to have a few days leisure before this ship...
ALS : University of Pennsylvania Library I can now only acknowledge the Receipt of your Favours of Feb. 12, 21, 24, 29, and April 1. together with two Boxes, containing Parcels for the Library and John Bartram, all safe and deliver’d. Enclos’d is a 2d Bill for £20 Sterling; the first went in March. When receiv’d please to credit my private Account with it. I send also two other Bills of £50...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library I have lately written two long Letters to you on the Subject of Electricity, one by the Governor’s Vessel, the other per Mesnard. On some further Experiments since, I have observ’d a Phenomenon or two that I cannot at present account for on the Principles laid down in those Letters, and am therefore become a little diffident of my Hypothesis, and asham’d that I...
Copy: American Academy of Arts and Sciences I now send you some Further Experiments and Observations in Electricity made in Philadelphia 1748. viz. §1. There will be the same Explosion and Shock if the electrified, Phial is held in one Hand by the Hook, and the Coating touched by the other; as when held by the Coating and touched at the Hook. §2. To take the charged Phial safely by the Hook,...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library I received your kind Letter of June 29. We hear nothing here of the Proprietary”s relenting. If any have it in charge from him to offer Concessions for Peacesake (as we are told from your side the Water they have) they keep them back in hopes the next Election may put the Proprietaries in a Condition not to need the proposing them. A few Days will settle this...
Duplicate: Pierpont Morgan Library; also extract: The Royal Society Since mine of the 5th Instant, a long one, per Capt. Snead, I have receiv’d the Air Pump and Apparatus per Rankin. There is some Breakage, of which shall send an Account per next Ship, to have the Glasses renew’d. We are exceedingly oblig’d to you for your Care in the Affair, and return you cordial Thanks. I am just return’d...
ALS : The Royal Society I receiv’d yours of Oct. 4. via New England, with the Account of what you have laid out on Books and Mathematical Instruments for the Academy, by which I perceive there is but about £20 in your Hands, much too little, I fear, for the Philosophical Apparatus! and the Misfortune is, that our other Expences in purchasing, Building, &c. are like to pinch us so in the...
Copy: American Philosophical Society I had at length the pleasure of hearing from you per the Myrtilla that brought me yours of the 26th. Janry. with which I received the two Cases containing the Maps, Silk &c. all very agreeable: but nothing more so than the good News you tell me, that our Proprietor is solicitous for the Prosperity of the Academy, has ordered a Salary towards the Support of...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library I received your Favours of May 28 and June 1. I believe I have already wrote you, that our Friend Smith is not thought here to be the Author of the Pamphlet you mention: ’Tis generally suppos’d to be the Governor’s (with some help from one or two others) as his Messages are fill’d with the same Sentiments and almost the same Expressions. He is, I think, the...
ALS : Charles E. Feinberg, Detroit, Michigan (1960) We have just now receiv’d the following Advice from Northampton County, viz. One David Owens, a Soldier belonging to the Regulars, but deserted sometime since to the Indians, came in last Week to Capt. Carns’s Post and deliver’d himself up. He brought with him a white Boy that had been taken Prisoner by the Indians last Fall, when they kill’d...
Copy: American Academy of Arts and Sciences Mr. Watson I believe wrote his Observations on my last Paper in Haste; without having first well considered the Experiments related in §17 *Of the third Letter. which still appear to me decisive in the Question; Whether the Accumulation of Electrical Fire be in the Electrified Glass, or in the Non-electric Matter connected with the Glass? and to...
I. MS not found; printed in Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London, 1769), pp. 354–6. II. MS not found; facsimile: Royal Society; also draft: American Philosophical Society. Of Franklin’s magic square James Ferguson wrote that it went “far beyond any thing of the kind I ever saw before; and the magic circle (which is the first of the kind I ever heard of, or...
ALS : Pierpont Morgan Library I did not receive my Dear Friend’s Letter of yesterday till I came home late in the Evening. I have this Morning wrote the Directions you desired, and sent them to your Friend. If you should hear that they are not quite clear in any particular, let me know that I may explain what is doubtful. My Son presents his Respects. We intend our selves the Pleasure of...
Copy: The Royal Society In Capt. Waddels Account *Ph. Tr. No. 492. p. III . of the Effects of Lightning on his Ship, I could not but take Notice of the large Comazants (as he Calls them,) that settled on the Spintles at the Topmast-Heads, and burnt like very large Torches before the Stroke. According to my Opinion, the Electrical Fire was then drawing off, as by Points , from the Cloud, the...
ALS : Huntington Library I received a Letter from you on the Road hither, with one of the supplemental Papers on Electricity; and a Letter from our Friend Kalm. I condole with you sincerely on the Death of good Mrs. Collinson: I do not, however, offer to comfort you by Arguments drawn from Philosophy or Religion; such will readily occur to a Person of your Understanding and Piety. Natural...
Original ALS not found; duplicate: Pierpont Morgan Library I wrote you yesterday a Line or two enclosing the second of a Set of Bills for £120 Sterling, drawn on Mr. William Anderson, Merchant, London, by Robert Lloyd, of Maryland I now send the first of the same Set. On the 27th past I drew on you for £50 Sterling in favour of Benjamin Mecom, which I doubt not will meet with due Honour I wish...
Copy: American Academy of Arts and Sciences The inclosed is a Copy of my last, which went by the Governour’s Vessel: since which we have received, by Mesnard and Ouchterlony, Hill’s Theophrastus, Pemberton’s Dispensatory, Wilson’s Electricity and some other Pamphlets. The Proprietor’s handsome Present of a complete Electrical Apparatus &c. is also come to Hand in good Order, and is put up in...
LS : American Philosophical Society J’ai reçu, Monsieur, les deux Lettres que vous m’avez fait l’honneur de m’écrire le 19 du mois dernier et le 19 du courant pour m’engager à vous procurer votre échange, ainsi que les moyens de retourner en Amerique rejoindre vos drapeaux. Je suis bien faché, Monsieur, de me trouver dans l’impossibilité absolue de vous accorder ce que vous me demandez. Les...
Two copies: National Archives This circular letter was a companion piece to the commissioners’ memorandum to the French and Spanish courts below, November 23, and had been equally long under consideration. Lee presented his draft of the letter to his colleagues on the 9th. An argument developed over how to interpret the old maxim that free ships make free goods: Lee’s draft had apparently...
LS and transcript: National Archives; incomplete copy: Massachusetts Archives; copy: Harvard University Library Our Dispatches of Decr. 18. which would have acquainted you with the State of our Affairs here, and our Expectations of a speedy Conclusion of the Treaties with this Court, are unfortunately returned; the French Man of War which went on purpose to carry them, having met with some...
Attested copy: Harvard University Library; copies: British Library (incomplete), National Archives (three), Sheffield City Library (two), South Carolina Historical Society We received duly your Dispatches by Mr. McCrery, and Capt. Young, dated May 20 and 30. June 13, 18, and 26 and July 2. The Intelligence they contain is very particular and Satisfactory. It rejoices us to be informed that...
Copies: British Library, Harvard University Library, National Archives (three) It is long since we had a Line from you, the last received being of the Date of [ blank in MS ] per Mr. Reed. We suppose from the same Causes which have occasioned your hearing so seldom from us, the Difficulty of finding safe Conveyances, and sometimes the Loss of the Dispatches by the Way. Mr. Lee informs you, we...
LS : South Carolina Historical Society; transcript and two copies: National Archives We have now the Pleasure of sending you the Treaties of Amity and Alliance with France compleated after long Deliberation and signed the 6th. Instant. This is an Event that will give our States such an Appearance of Stability, as must strengthen our Credit, encourage other Powers in Europe to ally themselves...