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AL (fragment): Historical Society of Pennsylvania [ First part missing ] Franklyn for the Favor of his Invitation, sho’d have answer’d his Card sooner but has been kept at Westminster the whole Day, begs Leave now to say, that He will wait on the Doctor, and in the mean Time begs his Acceptance of his most respectful Compliments. The writer has not been identified, though the handwriting bears...
Incomplete draft: American Philosophical Society Illustrissimo Signor Signor Padrone mio Colendissimo. A quest’ora avrete ricevuto risposta alle vostre direttavi per mezzo [ blank in MS ] riceverete anche questa per l’istesso canale, e potrete rispondermi per il medesimo; che così La spesa sarà tutta addosso a me, e riceverò lettere sicuramente; perciocchè le due penultime vostre hanno tardato,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society The letters that follow we have found impossible to date. All of them, presumably, were written after Polly Stevenson’s marriage in 1770, when Dolly began to pay Franklin more attention than before “tho not more than I have always been prompted from affection to Pay.” Prior to the wedding no correspondence exists between them, or at least none that can be...
AL : American Philosophical Society None of the following notes can be dated with precision; it is possible that some may have been written during BF ’s first mission, while others may have been composed as late as 1775. They are placed here because they seem to the editors to belong to the second mission, and in accordance with editorial practice because this is the earliest year in which...
ALS : American Philosophical Society The Bearer is Baron Steieben of whome I had the honor to write to you by the hands of a Friend about a month since. He is a Gentleman of Family, Merit and great experience, well known to some of the First Personages in Europe, and hereby gives you sir a strong proof of his Ambition to make the Acquaintance of Doctor Franklin in actualy performing a Journey...
AL : American Philosophical Society Mr. Cooper presents his Compliments to Dr. Franklin and returns him many thanks for the honor of his obliging Enquiries. Addressed: Dr. Frankln’s For Grey Cooper, M.P., 1765–84; secretary to the Treasury, 1765–82; see above, X , 182 n.
AL : American Philosophical Society Mr. Fitzgerald and Dr. Morton’s Compliments to Dr. Franklyn, and if it be agreable, purpose to wait upon Him on Friday even next, about 6 o’clock, with 2 Ladies. Addressed: To / Benjamn. Franklyn / Esqr. Dr. of Laws. / Craven Street The first of these men may have been Keane Fitz Gerald, or Fitzgerald, of Poland St., London, F.R.S., 1756, who contributed...
Printed forms (two) with MS insertions in blanks: Theodore Sheldon, Chicago (1954) The commission given by Franklin and William Hunter to Thomas Vernon as deputy postmaster at Newport, R.I., Dec. 24, 1754, is printed above, V , 451–2. With the text of that earliest known post-office commission signed by Franklin as deputy postmaster general appears a note listing five similar commissions known...
AD : American Philosophical Society Among Franklin’s papers are two sheets on which he entered notes about three acts of Parliament. One sheet, written on both sides, is badly torn at the top and down one edge. The other, of which he used only one side and which is in better condition, is a continuation of the first. The acts in which he was interested had granted to areas not previously...
AD : American Philosophical Society These two notes for borrowers from the Library Company demarcated the sheep from the goats. The sheep, who were the members, promised to pay for books not returned on time and in good condition; the goats put down a refundable deposit. The requirement of a promissory note from a member went back at least to 1732, and a note to accompany a nonmember’s deposit...
MS : Library of Congress This document, of unknown provenance and in an unknown hand, is among the papers of L. C. Henley-Smith. The only evidence of its authenticity is internal, but that evidence is strong. The format shows a verbal playfulness at which Franklin was adept, and the points attributed to him were ones that he repeatedly raised during his negotiations in London. We are strongly...
AD : Library of Congress The background of this request has already been discussed in connection with the document to which it was attached, Franklin’s indictment of Lord Hillsborough in 1772 for preventing colonial petitions from reaching the throne. At some later point he decided, for reasons given here, to publish the indictment redirected at Lord Dartmouth, and then reversed his decision;...
AD: British Museum The presence of this fragment among the papers of Caleb Whitefoord in the British Museum indicates that it was part of a letter to the Public Advertiser that was never published. Henry Woodfall, the printer, frequently sent such material for Whitefoord’s inspection; and in this case the manuscript seems to have gone no further. When it was written, why it was suppressed, and...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society Unsolved problems in editing, as in other areas of historical research, are frustrating out of all proportion to their significance; and this short draft is a case in point. Why Franklin wrote it is clear enough: to enable a French teacher, whose English was inadequate for the purpose, to enlist influential help in obtaining redress from the Warden of...
AD (incomplete draft): American Philosophical Society The nature of this fragment is clear enough: it is to introduce a resolution, undoubtedly by Congress, authorizing some action against the crown. But what action is impossible to say. The preamble was not adopted and hence not recorded in the Journals , and its language is too general to identify the measure it was intended to justify. One...
Printed in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society . . ., II (1786), 325. On his voyage to America Franklin was wondering about the sea around him. Soon after setting down his speculation on the speed of ships (the preceding document) he, or perhaps his grandson under his direction, began to record the temperature of the water. For the first four days it varied little, and perhaps...
ALS : Frank Glenn, Kansas City, Missouri (1955) I used to put two Ounces of Bark finely powdered into a Bottle of Wine, and let it stand 24 Hours, in which time it will have given to the Wine a sufficient Quantity of its Virtue, and the Powder itself will be pretty well subsided. When I had drank two or three Glasses out of the Bottle, I used to fill it up with fresh Wine, because the Bark...
Draft: American Philosophical Society Obviously written in England, this document cannot otherwise be certainly dated. Apparently Franklin contemplated having an English architect prepare plans for a “model home” in Philadelphia suitable for “Tradesmen and People of moderate Circumstances.” His description of the land on which it was to be built most nearly fits the lot on the north side of...
Reprinted from The Columbian Magazine , I (December, 1786), 159–61; incomplete copy: American Philosophical Society Franklin and chess have long been associated in the popular mind largely because of this bagatelle, which was the most widely reprinted product of his Passy press. Made public for the first time in 1786, it would be reprinted at least a dozen times by the end of the century, and...
AD : American Philosophical Society These two scraps of Franklin’s ongoing argument for the colonies appear to be directed at the British public, although no trace of either one has been found in the newspapers of the period. The first fragment is divided into two parts by a gap in the manuscript; the initial paragraph might have been written at any time, but the second implies that...
Copy: Library of Congress; copy: American Philosophical Society It has been demonstrated that Franklin did not, as William Temple Franklin asserted and subsequent editors believed, write this dialogue shortly after arriving in France in 1776, but shortly before leaving England in 1775. If he began it considerably earlier, as seems likely, it must have been in a quite different vein; for he...
AD (draft): Library of Congress These notes are impossible to date. At the head of the sheet a line in another hand has been crossed out; it seems to read “Mde. D’Ardonviller,” who means nothing to us. Franklin’s reference in his notation to the “old” intention suggests that he was writing long after the comment that he cites by the Attorney General; but the reference at least determines the...
MS account books: American Philosophical Society December 10, 1764 As Franklin had done when he went to England in 1757, he began a new record of his financial transactions when he started his second mission in 1764. Probably the new record consisted at first of a series of rather informal entries such as those in his “Account of Expences,” 1757–1762, described above, VII , 164–5, and cited...
ALS (draft): Blumhaven Library (1957) I have perus’d the Parts you put into my Hands of the new Work on Commerce, &c. and must own myself extreamly pleas’d with it. It is a most valuable Collection of Facts which I should think every one in Britain, Ireland and the Colonies who has any thing to do with Publick Affairs, or is desirous of understanding that very interesting Subject, would gladly...
Draft: American Philosophical Society I have perus’d the Letters and Papers you put into my Hands, and shall, as you desire, say what occurs to me on the considering them. I do not know Mr. Murdoch personally, but have heard that he is a Person of Credit and some Note in that Country, and esteemed by the People there. I imagine that little is to be expected from a Suit of Law, to be carried on...
26Memorandum Book, 1757–1776 (Franklin Papers)
MS account book: American Philosophical Society [April 3, 1757] Before leaving for England Franklin provided his wife with a long, narrow account book in which she was to record her expenditures during his absence. She made the first entry on April 3, even before he had gone. But later, like many wives—and husbands too—she was far from meticulous in recording everything she spent. There are...
AL : American Philosophical Society Mrs. French thinks it long since she had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Frankin, called at his house to desire the favor of his Company to dinner tomorrow to meet Mr. Payne to play at Chess till half an hour after 7 o’ [ clock ]. Will be happy to see him as [early?] in the Morning as is agreeable. Addressed: To. Dr. Franklin For BF ’s old friend see above, XVIII...
Printed card with MS insertions: Historical Society of Pennsylvania Takes the Liberty to inform Dr. Franklin and friends that he has Three very large and Capital Pictures just arrived, and to be seen at an empty House, almost opposite the Cocoa Tree, Pall Mall , from Ten in the Morning till Three o’Clock. On John Greenwood, Boston-born painter and art dealer, who moved from Amsterdam to London...
ALS (incomplete): American Philosophical Society [ Missing ] ourselves without making Mr. W—s experiment. But to be serious; unluckily for that Gentleman I have drawn no conclusion from his favourite experiment, except it be this, that a point will not invite a stroke of lightning upon it, at 12 times the distance of a knob. The chains happen’d to be both of the same wire, and length. Whoever...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I am very happy that my letter to Lord Thanet meets with your approbation. I send you here some crude notions of what ought be adopted. 1st  A solemn league and covenant defensive and offensive to be taken by every man in America, particularly by those in or near the Sea Port Towns; all those who refuse, to have their estates confiscated for the public use,...