Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Vaughan, 17 April 1784

To Benjamin Vaughan

Transcript:1 American Philosophical Society

Passy, April 17. 1784

My dear Friend,

Since I wrote to you respecting Dr. Withering, I have received a very satisfactory Letter from him.2 So this Affair need not give you father [farther] Trouble.— I am sorry to hear you are hurt by a Fall from your Horse. I hope the Effects will not be lasting; and that by this time you are recover’d.

It will give me great Pleasure to hear that our Friend has an Opportunity of doing all the Good he wishes; as he [is] capable of doing a great deal.

I do not understand well a Paragraph of your last (dated April 2)3 relating to the Subscription of the 39 Articles.4 Please to explain in your next.—

It would be well not to think of a new Edition of that Collection, ’till I can from America render it more compleat. Have you ever enquir’d of Govr Franklin, what supply he can furnish? He had a great many Things.—5

1In a hand we do not recognize, and filed in the Benjamin Vaughan Collection.

2BF’s letter to Vaughan is missing. Withering’s letter (or the main portion of it) is above, [before April 17].


4The Thirty-Nine Articles were a set of dogmas first issued by the Church of England in 1563. It was mandatory for Anglican clergy and the members of Oxford and Cambridge to subscribe to all of the articles and for Dissenting ministers and teachers to subscribe to most of them. In 1772 BF had supported an unsuccessful petition by Dissenters to be exempted from subscription: XIX, 163–8; F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (rev. 3rd ed., Oxford and New York, 2005).

5Vaughan was the editor of BF’s Political, Miscellaneous, and Philosophical Pieces … (London, 1779). Soon after its publication, BF informed Vaughan that he could supply “Materials for 2. or 3. Volumes more” once he returned to America: XXXI, 210–18, 458. Thereafter, Vaughan periodically reminded BF to think about materials for an expanded edition; see XXXVI, 416.

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