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All that part of Creation that lies within our observation is liable to Change. Even mighty States and kingdoms, are not exempted. If we look into History we shall find some nations rising from contemp­ tible beginnings, and spreading their influence, ’till the whole Globe is subjected to their sway. When they have reach’d the summit of Grandeur, some minute and unsuspected Cause commonly...
Continued November 30. 1804. In my own class at Collidge, there were several others, for whom I had a strong affection—Wentworth, Brown, Livingston, Sewall and Dalton all of whom have been eminent in Life, excepting Livingston an amiable and ingenious Youth who died within a Year or two after his first degree. In the Class before me I had several Friends, Treadwell the greatest Schollar, of my...
3[Parents and Boyhood] (Adams Papers)
My Father married Susanna Boylston in October 1734, and on the 19th of October 1735 I was born. As my Parents were both fond of reading, and my father had destined his first born, long before his birth to a public Education I was very early taught to read at home and at a School of Mrs. Belcher the Mother of Deacon Moses Belcher, who lived in the next house on the opposite side of the Road. I...
Wilson’s attack on Franklin in 1773, in Observations upon Lightning , had produced a rebuttal from William Henly before the Royal Society. Wilson counterattacked and, when the Society declined to publish his paper, printed it as a second pamphlet, Further Observations upon Lightning; Together with Some Experiments … (London, 1774). He sent Franklin a presentation copy, dated on the title page...
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...
ALS (incomplete): Yale University Library This fragment is now bound, in a volume of Franklin’s correspondence with Shipley, as a postscript to the Bishop’s holograph copy of his letter below at the end of June, 1775. But the paper is larger than that of the copy; it has been folded, as the copy has not; and it is addressed and has the remnants of a seal. The conclusion is inescapable that it...
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...
Printed form with MS insertions in blanks: American Philosophical Society Vous étes prié, de la part de Monsieur le Curé & de Madame Le Veillard , Trésoriere des Pauvres, de vous trouver à l’Assemblée de Charité qui se tiendra dans l’Eglise Royale & Paroissiale de Notre-Dame-de-Graces de Passy, à l’issue des Vépres, Dimanche prochain 5 7bre 1779 Il y aura Prédication, par mr L’abbé gautier...
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...
ALS : American Philosophical Society The condescending respect with which Your Excellency hath in repeated Instances regarded me and mine is matter of gratful contemplation. Permit us to look with sincerest Veneration to the Man distinguish’d amongst a glorious Band of firm Characters: who sustain’d by divine Providence, have thus farr, form’d and Fostered the Rising world of Freedom. May...
You must give me leave to return you the inclosed, as I have laid aside the distressing trade of receiving money for serving my friends. the pleasure of doing them an acceptable office is the richest reward which can be conferred on me, and I never think them ungenerous but when they decline giving me an opportunity of proving this. the late occasion too was peculiarly sacred. the packet to...
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...
It is with the utmost chagrin I am obliged to inform you, that I am not able to return you all your pamph[l]ets; and what is still worse the most valuable of them is missing. I beg you will not impute it to carelessness; for I assure you upon my honor the true state of the case is this—I put your pamphlets in the case with my other books; and some person about the College got into my room...
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...
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,...
16Memorandum 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...
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...
Richard Henry Lee’s famous resolution of June 7, 1776, called for independence and confederation. Congress considered the resolution the next day, and on the 11th and 12th appointed a committee to draw up articles of confederation. The committee’s report, commonly called the Dickinson draft after its chief architect, was presented on July 12. It was printed for the delegates, and...
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...
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...
MS and printed cards: American Philosophical Society [1757–1775] Among Franklin’s surviving papers is a collection of personal visiting cards (or “visiting tickets” as they appear to have been called) and business cards of tradesmen and others. Some of the personal cards are handwritten, as is one of Franklin’s own after he received his doctorate; others are printed or engraved, and...
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...
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...
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...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I [hope you] will not be angrey at my writing b [ missing ] me, I know you ar Intament with mr. St[rahan] [ missing ] god will kepe me in my troubell but k [ missing ] e to help myself the least thing Cant dres now [ missing ] [ with ] out help, If mr. troauen will be so Cind as to [ missing ] for to Ogment my salery I am told it is great [ly?] in his pour,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I hop you will pardin my fredom in writin to you, should be glad to have waited on you but never shall see you moer so bad with the stoan not abell to goe to the hall for my penshon but the treasourer is so Cind as to send it god reward him for it, I had a long winter never been out tell march with my breth nor abell to go to bed know mor then a child, and...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I hop you will pardon the fredom I have takeen, I have been to the bishop’s palies at lamboth to see for the old Cook that did Lieve with the late bishop, but to my mortifycasion am Desieved she is gon, I went to see If I Could have got my daughter to been under for som tiem to had som Experence in the Chiken bisnes it would have been of great servies to...
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...
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...
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...