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LS : Library of Congress Our last Letter informed you, that the King had declared his Intention of laying the Petition before his two Houses of Parliament. It has accordingly been laid before each House, but undistinguished among a Variety of Letters and other Papers from America. A Motion made by Lord Chatham, to withdraw the Troops from Boston, as the first Step towards a conciliating Plan,...
I and II: printed in The Whitehall Evening Post , respectively January 19–21 and 14–17, 1775; III: printed in The Public Advertiser , January 20, 1775. Once Dartmouth informed the Massachusetts agents on December 24 that the King had received the petition from the Congress and would lay it before Parliament, they had to decide when it might properly be published. As soon as it had been...
ALS : Princeton University Library; draft: Library of Congress When four of the seven agents to whom the Congress had entrusted its petition refused to have anything to do with it, the three representatives of Massachusetts faced the problem of how to deliver it; and they decided to depart from their instructions and not put it directly into the hands of the King. The “regular Official...
ALS : the William Salt Library, Stafford This letter to the American Secretary, and the one from Franklin alone on the following day, raise an interesting question about the agents’ timing. On the 20th they forwarded what had “this day come to our hands,” the letter to Dartmouth from the Massachusetts House and Council; on the 21st Franklin forwarded the petition from the House, “just...
DS : Pennsylvania Hospital January 17, 1752 This document, drafted by Joshua Crosby, Thomas Bond, John Smith, Hugh Roberts, and Franklin, is omitted here for the reason stated above, p. 111; but is printed, with editorial annotation, in Some Account of the Pennsylvania Hospital , May 1754, in the next volume.
Printed in The American Weekly Mercury , March 27, 1729. ——Quid non mortalia Pectora cogis Auri sacra Fames! Virgil. One of the greatest Pleasures an Author can have is certainly the Hearing his Works applauded. The hiding from the World our Names while we publish our Thoughts, is so absolutely necessary to this Self-Gratification, that I hope my Well-wishers will congratulate me on my Escape...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , September 10, 1730. Although the paragraph in the Gazette introducing this essay may be BF ’s, its entire text is taken, with unimportant excisions, from Edward Bysshe’s translation of Xenophon’s The Memorable Things of Socrates (London, 1712), pp. 107–14. Duane printed it in his edition of BF ’s writings ( Works , IV , 401–5), as did Sparks and Bigelow;...
DS (two) and copy: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission On July 4, 1760, Francis Eyre, Robert Charles and Franklin’s solicitor, drew up and presented on behalf of his clients a petition to the King in Council asking to be heard in opposition to the Board of Trade report on the nineteen Pennsylvania acts. Then Eyre prepared “long Observations on the Report being 8 close Brief Sheets,...
DS : Morris Duane, Philadelphia, on deposit in Historical Society of Pennsylvania (1957) This Indenture made the Eleventh day of April in the Seventh Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith &c Annoque Domini One thousand Seven hundred and Thirty Four Between Benjamin Franklyn of the City of...
ADS : Historical Society of Pennsylvania Per Week Col. 20 s . Pay to Lieut. Lewis Ourry, or Order, the Sum of Two Hundred and Forty-six Pounds Nine Shillings, being for the Discharge of the Quarters of 1 Col. 1 Lieut. Col. 1 Major, 7 Captains, 28 Subalterns, and 1 Surgeon, for 15 Weeks; 1 Capt. and 3 Lieuts. 17 Weeks; 2 Captains and 2 Lieuts. 3 Weeks, at the Rates in the Margin; it being...
LS : Yale University Library; draft (incomplete): American Philosophical Society This letter marks the first stage of the inspection trip Franklin and Foxcroft took through New Jersey, New York, and New England between June 7 and November 5, 1763. Lasting just two days less than five months, this was the longest time Franklin was ever away from home on post-office business. Accompanied most of...
DS : University of Pennsylvania Library Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft Esquires His Majesty’s Deputy Postmaster General of all his Majesty’s Dominions on the Continent of North America. To all to whom these Presents shall come: Greeting. Know ye That we the said Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft reposing special Trust and Confidence in James Parker of Woodbridge in New Jersey ,...
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...
Printed form with MS insertions in blanks: New Hampshire Historical Society Know all Men by these Presents, That we  Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft Esquires his Majesty’s Deputy Postmaster General for North America ,  have made, ordained and constituted, and by these Presents do make ordain and constitute, and in our Place and Stead put and depute our trusty and loving Friend   Tuthill...
In consequence of the royal proclamation George III issued four months after his accession, which is summarized in the preamble below, Franklin and Foxcroft prepared and had printed this form of certificate to protect their local postmasters from any interruptions in the performance of their duties. The certificate was, of course, not itself the postmaster’s commission, but rather an...
Broadside: New Jersey Historical Society Franklin and Foxcroft prepared this broadside for prominent display in every American post office. While it is undated, its use of the rate structure prescribed by the parliamentary act of 1710 indicates that it must have been drawn up before word of the new act of 1765 reached the colonies, and it seems probable that the two deputy postmasters general...
Draft: American Philosophical Society We wrote you pretty fully of the 4th. Instant, and sent our Letters to New York to be ready for the Packet that has been some time expected. She did not arrive till the 17th. and we have now just receiv’d yours of July 14. with Copies of your preceding Letters and Duplicates of the Papers that accompanied them. Those that were proper for Publication we had...
ADS : Redwood Library and Athenaeum, Newport Receiv’d July 12. 1763. of Mr. Vernon, One Hundred and Fifteen Pounds four Shillings and Sixpence on Account of the Post-Office, per us Recd July 16th. 1763 of Mr. Vernon One hundred and Thirty nine Pounds three Shillings on account of this post office. For B: Franklin and Self For Vernon, postmaster at Newport, R.I., 1754–75, see above, V , 451 n....
Draft: American Philosophical Society We have read your extraordinary Letter upon which we shall make no other Observation but this, That it is not in our Power to give a Discharge for your whole Debt to the Post Office on your Payment of a Part; the Debt not being to us but to the Crown: and that If you do not immediately come to a Settlement with us, in which we are willing to give you all...
MS Minutes: Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania; another MS version: University of Pennsylvania Archives This document was drawn up by Franklin and Tench Francis. The final and official version, spread on the Trustees’ Minutes and printed here, contains corrections and additions by Franklin and his insertion of James Logan’s name at the head of the list of trustees. It is of further...
ALS : American Antiquarian Society; copy: Public Record Office My last was of the 22d past, since which I have received none of your Favours. I mentioned that the Bill brought into Parliament for Punishing Boston, met with no Opposition. It did however meet with a little before it got through, some few of the Members speaking against it in the House of Commons, and more in the House of Lords....
ALS : American Philosophical Society My last to you was of the 1st. of May, since which I am favour’d with yours of the 13th. of February and 10th. March. We are oblig’d to you for deferring the propos’d Stamp Act. I hope, for Reasons heretofore mention’d, it will never take Place. We see in the Papers that an Act is pass’d for granting certain Duties on Goods in the British Colonies, &c. but...
Printed in The American Weekly Mercury , February 11, 1728/9. All Fools have still an Itching to deride; And fain would be upon the laughing Side.     Pope. Monsieur Rochefocaut tells us somewhere in his Memoirs, that the Prince of Conde delighted much in Ridicule; and us’d frequently to shut himself up for Half a Day together in his Chamber with a Gentleman that was his Favourite, purposely...
ALS : New-York Historical Society I have learnt by different hands, that Dr. Mitchel continues in a bad State of Health, which I suppose obliges him to drop his Correspondencies. ’Tis a Loss to us all. Messrs. Bertram and Evans did not go their intended Journey to Lake Erie, but are both safe at home. Mr. Weiser is just return’d from Onondago, and gives a melancholly Account of the declining...
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...
26Advertisement, 1 November 1750 (Franklin Papers)
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , November 1, 1750. Whereas on Saturday night last, the house of Benjamin Franklin, of this city, printer, was broken open, and the following things feloniously taken away, viz. a double necklace of gold beads, a woman’s long scarlet cloak, almost new, with a double cape, a woman’s gown, of printed cotton, of the sort called brocade print, very remarkable,...
MS (copy): American Philosophical Society In December, 1769, or possibly in the following month, Thomas Pownall attempted to formulate general principles of law that applied to the issues in dispute between Britain and her colonies. He composed a short document in two parts; the first set forth six principles, and the second adduced corollaries from them. This document he had printed but not...
MS not found; reprinted from Duane, Works , VI , II . I wrote a line to you yesterday, and having this opportunity, write another, just to let you know that we all continue well, and much the better from the refreshments you have sent us: in short we do very well, for though there are a great number of things, besides what we have, that used to seem necessary to comfortable living, yet we have...
Copy: the Royal Society The Aurora Boreales , tho’ visible almost every Night of clear Weather in the more Northern Regions, and very high in the Atmosphere, can scarce be visible in England but when the Atmosphere is pretty clear of Clouds for the whole Space between us and those Regions, and therefore are seldom visible here. This extensive Clearness may have been produced by a long...
ALS : Library Company of Philadelphia Inclosed I send the Account of Charges in Solliciting your Act, amounting to £36 15 s. 0 d. The Act itself with the Royal Approbation engross’d on Parchment, I sent you per Mr. Wells, and hope it will get safe to hand. I am, with great Esteem, Dear Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant Addressed: To / Samuel Preston Moore Esqr / Philadelphia / Per favour...
31Poor Richard, 1743 (Franklin Papers)
Poor Richard, 1743. An Almanack For the Year of Christ 1743 ,... By Richard Saunders, Philom. Philadelphia: Printed and sold by B. Franklin, at the New Printing-Office near the Market. (Yale University Library) Because I would have every Man make Advantage of the Blessings of Providence, and few are acquainted with the Method of making Wine of the Grapes which grow wild in our Woods, I do here...
ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress I received yours of June 7. and am glad to find by it that you are safely return’d from your Virginia Journey, having settled your Affairs there to Satisfaction, and that you found your Family well at New York. I feel for you in the Fall you had out of your Chair. I have had three of those Squelches in different Journeys, and never desire a fourth. I...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Supposing the Catalogue of our American Ores and Minerals collected by the late Mr. Hazard, might afford you some Amusement, I send my Letter to Mr. Tissington open to you, and give you the Trouble of forwarding it to him when you have perus’d it. The Bearer of this is Mr. James Logan Son of my Learned Friend of that Name. I beg Leave to recommend him to...
Extract printed from Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg, ed., Œuvres de M. Franklin … (Paris, 1773), p. 314. Cette lettre vous sera remise par le Docteur Lettsom, jeune Médecin Amériquain de beaucoup de mérite, qui est de la paisible secte des Trembleurs, et que vous regarderiez conséquemment au moins comme une rareté à contempler, quand même vous auriez épousé toutes les préventions de la plupart de vos...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , June 23 and 30, 1743. The first of these pieces, to which Smyth gave the title “Shavers and Trimmers” when he reprinted both ( Writings , ii , 232–6), appeared in the Gazette , June 23, 1743. It was inspired by a barber’s advertising the week before that he intended to give up shaving and trimming to confine himself to wigmaking. The essay is a...
ALS : Huntington Library Enclos’d is a second Bill for £19 7 s. 1½ d. Sterling. The first I sent you some time since. Mr. Hall will write, tho’ neither of us have much Time, the Vessel hurrying away for fear of the Ice. I shall soon send you more Bills. With my best Respects to Mrs. Strahan, in which my Dame joins, and hearty Wishes for the Welfare of you and yours, I am, Dear Sir, Your...
Copy: Yale University Library I rejoice to hear by my friend Mr. Strahan that you continue in Health and are now at the Head of the Edinburgh University. Before I leave Britain again I Promise myself the Happiness of once more seeing you and my other Friends in Scotland, having always retained a pleasing Remembrance of the time I spent in that Country, the ingenious and instructive...
Cato’s Moral Distichs Englished in Couplets. Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by B. Franklin, 1735. Pp. iii–iv. (Yale University Library) The Printer to the Reader . The Manuscript Copy of this Translation of Cato’s Moral Distichs , happened into my Hands some Time since, and being my self extreamly pleased with it, I thought it might be no less acceptable to the Publick; and therefore...
Draft: American Philosophical Society With cordial Thanks for your many Civilities to me when in Paris, I take this Opportunity of acquainting you, that your Certificate has been received by the Royal Society, and ordered to be hung up the usual Time which is Ten Meetings; but it was observed to be deficient in not mentioning your Christian Name, without which it is not reckon’d regular. I...
40On Amplification, 17 June 1736 (Franklin Papers)
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , June 17, 1736. Amplification, or the Art of saying Little in Much , seems to be principally studied by the Gentlemen Retainers to the Law. ’Tis highly useful when they are to speak at the Bar; for by its Help, they talk a great while, and appear to say a great deal, when they have really very little to say. But ’tis principally us’d in Deeds and every...
Printed in The Public Advertiser , Nov. 3, 1770 For the Public Advertiser An American , to those Englishmen who virulently write and talk against his Countrymen , sends this Expostulation: If it be true, as some of you say it is, that our Non-Importation Agreements are not observed, but that we clandestinely import and consume as much British Goods as ever, why are you so angry with us, and...
Copy: Bureau of Land Records, Department of Internal Affairs, Harrisburg Know ALL Men by these presents That I Benjamin Franklin of the City of Philadelphia Printer being now about to depart for England and the Time of my Return uncertain and there being long Accounts of Partnership unsettled between David Hall of the same place Printer and myself which partnership is now near expiring and the...
43Poor Richard, 1734 (Franklin Papers)
Poor Richard, 1734. An Almanack For the Year of Christ 1734 … By Richard Saunders, Philom. Philadelphia: Printed and sold by B. Franklin, at the New Printing-Office near the Market (Yale University Library). Your kind and charitable Assistance last Year, in purchasing so large an Impression of my Almanacks, has made my Circumstances much more easy in the World, and requires my grateful...
MS not found; reprinted from The Atlantic Monthly , LXI (1888), 26. Your Favours of March 18 and April 1 are come to Hand with all the Books, &c. mentioned in the invoice, in good Order, and am much obliged to you for your ready Compliance with all my Requests. I believe I could have got Subscriptions for 20 Sets of the Universal History, and perhaps more, but unluckily a Ship from Ireland...
Printed in The Royal Society, Philosophical Transactions , LIX (1769), 162–9. As, in consequence of a letter addressed to the Royal Society from the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul’s, the Society did us the honour to appoint us a Committee to examine that magnificent structure, and, as far as our experience would enable us, to prevent mischief thereto from lightning, by a properly disposed...
MS Minutes: Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania The trustees of the College of Philadelphia on June 10 (see above, p. 29) appointed Franklin and five others to examine and report on a draft of rules and statutes, probably prepared by Franklin himself, which had been submitted to the board for adoption. On July 11 Franklin reported as president that the committee had considered the draft...
ALS : Princeton University Library With this you will receive a Power of Attorney from Messrs. Brown and Sons, Bankers, to recover a Debt of one Mitchel, which I recommend to your Care. The Case is this, When I was in Philadelphia, this Mitchel came to England on a Scheme for Purchasing some Lands in Partnership with Mr. Hughes, who desired me to give him a Letter of Credit for any Sum he...
DS : American Philosophical Society <February 17, 1772. Franklin empowers Deborah Franklin and Richard Bache to request and receive payment of all debts due him in America, except those owed him by William Franklin, and to take all legal actions and whatever other lawful steps may be necessary for collecting from the debtors or their executors or administrators. Sealed, stamped, and delivered...
MS not found; reprinted from Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London, 1769), pp. 379–80. ******It had, indeed, as you observe, been the opinion of some very great naturalists, that the sea is salt only from the dissolution of mineral or rock salt, which its waters happened to meet with. But this opinion takes it for granted that all water was originally fresh, of...
ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress I had no Line from you per last Packet. But I had the Satisfaction of hearing you were well by Mr. Beache’s Letter. I wrote to you per Capt. All, and sent you some little Things. I continue well, and am ever, Your affectionate Husband Bache’s letter was that of Jan. 4 above, and BF ’s by Capt. All was, we assume, that of Feb. 14.