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Letterbook copy: Massachusetts Historical Society I am obliged to you for yours of the 21: present and for your good Care of my Packets sent to London and that the Electrical Apparatus shall be sent forward as I have requested. I thank you Sir, for Mr. Peters’ ingenious Sermon upon the Education of Youth which I have re’d with much pleasure, the Christian, the Divine and the Polite Gentleman...
Letterbook copy: Massachusetts Historical Society I duly received your kind Letter of 28: of Novr. with the Directions about the Electrical Operation and the box with the Electrical Apparatus came to my hands the 16: Currant and I am sorry to Inform you that when I came to open it the Glass Globe was broke all to pieces I suppose by the rough Conveyance of it (in a Waggon) from Burlington...
Copy: Massachusetts Historical Society The Experiments Mr. Kennersley has exhibited here, have been greatly pleasing to all sorts of people, that have seen them; and I hope by the time he returns to Philadelphia, his Tour this way will turn to good account. His Experiments are very curious, and I think, prove most effectually your doctrine of Electricity: that it is a real Element annexed to,...
Draft: New-York Historical Society I now make my Thankful Acknowledgment for your 2 kind Letters of Decr. 24, and Janry. 8. I have reviewed your most obliging Letters of the Summer before last to which you refer me. There was one of Augst. 23 to which I did not make a particular Reply by reason of my Illness at that time. In that you reasoned I own in a very forceable manner upon the head of...
Letterbook copy: Massachusetts Historical Society I wrote you a few lines the 18th: of last month telling you of the misfortune that had befell your Electrical Globe. I have however made some use of the rest of the Apparatus and with Mr. Burr’s assistance have been electrifyd several times but at present without any alteration in my Nervous disorder. As Mr. Burr has such another Apparatus as...
Letterbook copy: Massachusetts Historical Society The 20th Ulti I returnd you my thanks for your kind respect in the service of your Electrical Apparatus and which I hope before this is got well to your hands. I am again thankfull for your Respect in yours of 25th: January. Mr. Samuel Smith of Burlington tells me the first time he goes to Philadelphia he will pay you what I am in your debt to...
Printed in Benjamin Franklin, Supplemental Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Part II . … (London, 1753), pp. 99–101. (Yale University Library) I have the following experiments to communicate: I held in one hand a wire, which was fasten’d at the other end to the handle of a pump, in order to try whether the stroke from the prime conductor, through my arms, would be any greater, than...
Letterbook copy: Massachusetts Historical Society The last post brought me yours of 11: Currant and in another packet 2 of your papers of 28: of January and 11: February and which I desire may be regularly sent me for the future. I am thankfull that you will send to Mr. Ebenezer Holmes by the first Vessel to Boston Two Pounds of the right Virginia rattle snake root not Seneka root as you call...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I received your Bill by the last Post and thank you for it as I do likewise for the Pamphlets last Summer. It was a sincere pleasure to me to see good Dr. Thompson so well defended by his generous Friend Dr. Hamilton. I am much pleas’d with both these Gentlemen’s Performances. I beg’d your Plain Truth of Mrs. Mecom a few Weeks since which I had never seen...
Copy: Massachusetts Historical Society I have received your favour of the 24th. January past, inclosing an Extract from your Letter to Mr. Collinson and Dr. Colden’s Letter to yourself, which I have read with a great deal of pleasure, and am much obliged to you for. Your Extract confirms a correction Mr. Kinnersley made a few days ago of a mistake I was under respecting the polarity given to...
Copy: Massachusetts Historical Society According to promise in my last, I now return you Dr. Colden’s Letter, for communicating which I am greatly obliged to you. The Dr. dissenting from you, is of opinion, that Sea Clouds are less electrified than Land Clouds, and gives the reasons of his opinion “That Salt, tho’ an Electric per se, is never raised in Sea-vapours, therefore Sea-Clouds are...
Draft: New-York Historical Society Last fall I acknowleged from New York the favour you did me in sending me a copy of your Electrical experiments. The oftener I read them over the more I am pleased with them and every time discover some thing new which I had not taken notice of at the first reading. In my opinion no set of experiments which I have read lead so directly towards discovering the...
DS : American Philosophical Society; also transcript: Department of Records, Recorder of Deeds, City of Philadelphia March 25, 1752 Abstract: By indenture of June 2, 1720, Samuel Preston, and Anthony Morris, Jr., and Phoebe his wife granted to Richard Hill a lot on High Street, Philadelphia, between Third and Fourth Streets, 33 ft. broad and 306 ft. long, bounded on the north by High Street,...
Letterbook copy: Massachusetts Historical Society I have your kind Letter of 24: Instant and thank your care in sending forward the snake root to Boston. I am glad your Apparatus got so safe to hand as it did. I am sorry and ask pardon for the misfortune that happend to the Globe the repairing of which I wou’d thankfully pay. I am but lately recoverd of a pretty smart attack of a Fever. When I...
Draft: New-York Historical Society I received yours of the 23d of April as I was going on board the sloop in my return home from New York and could not take the pleasure of reading it before I left that place. One so much conversant in examining any particular Phoenomenon or of various Phoenomena arising from the same cause must on every occasion give the pleasure of learning something new to...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have wrote you before possibly you may receive Two Letters by one Ship—for here is Two Just going together and I cannot say whitch had my First. This serves to thank you for your favour of March 20th with the sundry Curious Articles besides. Greewood has been with Mee. I have recommended him to your Proprietor who Desires much to see Him, and does not...
Copy: Massachusetts Historical Society I have read the first Chapter of Dr. Colden’s piece on Gravitation which you was so good as to inclose in yours of the 14th. Ult. and endeavoured to understand it, but with as little Success as yourself. I have ventured notwithstanding to make in the margin a few remarks on several passages, which detach’d from the rest I tho’t I understood; but it is...
ALS : Historical Society of Pennsylvania We have had for 3 or 4 Days past, most extreme hot Weather: I heartily pity those who are now down with the Small Pox at Boston; since my Remembrance I think I never heard of such a distressing Time in our native Country. A Gentleman desired me to write to you to correct in the description of the Roads Southwestward, instead of [To Hoe’s Ferry 20] say...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I had the pleasure of my Dear friends Letter of 21 March last with a Guinea Inclosed but as I have Cash in hand I returned It by Moses Bartram. The Electrical Experiments have some thing very surprising in them, as all have. Those our Friend Cave Intends to add to thy book as a Supplement and then the Erratas may be added. Before they are printed, Wee shall...
ALS : American Philosophical Society This comes to you on account of Dr. Douglass. He desired me to write to you for what you know of the Number that died of the Inoculation in Philadelphia telling me he design’d to write something on the Small-pox shortly. We shall both be oblig’d to you for a word on this Affair. The chief Particulars of our Visitation you have in the public prints. But the...
ALS : Haverford College Library I had the pleasure of my Dear friend Letter of June 19th: It gives Mee concern for find my Letters Miscarried, for I writ both by Neat Ship and by Mesnard and I keep no Coppys. Indeed what I write generally in a Hurry does not deserve It but there was some things my Friends may be glad to know. In particular there was J. Bartrams Orders and Letters of advice of...
MS not found; reprinted from A Select Collection of Letters of the late Reverend George Whitefield, M.A. … (London, 1772), II , 440. Inclosed you have a letter for Mr. R—. I hope that promotion will do him no hurt. May God help him to make a stand against vice and prophaneness, and to exert his utmost efforts in promoting true religion and virtue! This is the whole of man. I find that you grow...
ALS : Historical Society of Pennsylvania I was favoured with yours of June 20, inclosing a Bill for £50 for the Library Company of Philadelphia, which is paid, and an Order for some Books from them, which I have sent as on the preceding Leaf, amounting to £48 9 s. 0 d. So that I remain indebted to them .£1 11 s. 0 d. I have sent every thing that could be procured, except Catesby’s Carolina...
ALS : American Philosophical Society In thine of June 19 mention is made of not receiveing a Letter which is a disappoinment to mee who keeps no Coppys. I always am carefull to Carry Letters my Self so how it should happen can’t say and I took particular care to write by Mesnard because of the books and Johns Watches and I saw it putt in the bagg. That Two should miscarry I cannot comprehend...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I received yours of Septr. with the Observations for which I am obliged to you. It is a very informing Piece and I think it should be read and well considerd by every Englishman who wishes well to his Country But more especially by those in power and Ability to promote the Nation’s Intrest. Your Papers on the Weather I deliver’d to your Brother Franklin in...
ALS and AL : American Philosophical Society In the Inclos’d you have all I have to say of that Matter. It prov’d longer than I expected so that I was forced to ad a Cover to it. I confess it looks like a Dispute but that is quite contrary to my Intention. The Sincerity of Friendship and Esteem were my motives nor do I doubt your scrupling the goodness of the Intention. However I must confess I...
Draft: New-York Historical Society I now send back to you Wilson on Electricity for the use of which I am much obliged. My youngest son the only one I have with me hopes to be able to make Electrical experiments tollerably well. Mr. Wilson I think is on the true scent of the cause of Electricity though it be plain he is not sufficiently informed of the nature of that elastic fluid which he...
Printed in Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London, 1769), pp. 234–5. I am favoured with your letter of the 2d instant, and shall, with pleasure, comply with your request, in describing (as well as my memory serves me) the water-spout I saw at Antigua; and shall think this, or any other service I can do, well repaid, if it contributes to your satisfaction in so...
Printed in Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London, 1769), pp. 280–1. If I remember right, the Royal Society made one experiment to discover the velocity of the electric fire, by a wire of about four miles in length, supported by silk, and by turning it forwards and backwards in a field, so that the beginning and end of the wire were at only the distance of two...
Draft: New York Academy of Medicine With Regard to our fathers Estate I can only so far Inform you that the houshold Stuf as sold at Vendue amounted to a Little more than [ illegible ] old Tenor. The house and Land was apprisd at £200. This letter answered BF ’s inquiry of January 2; it was drafted in the margin of BF ’s letter, Dec. 8, 1752. Torn in MS , but the figure was probably £70....
Draft: Historical Society of Pennsylvania When I left Philadelphia and every Friend and Acquaintance that was dear to me it was with a View and, as I then thought, with a study [ sic ] Resolution to lead a quiet and private Life without even so much as thinking of publick Affairs, other than paying Taxes and Fines if any should be imposed upon me for not appearing if at any Time I should be...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Tho’ I am much engaged yett I cannot Lett Mesnard Sail without Acquainting you how Matters stand Here. and first for Business The Paduasoye is the best and I hope will please your Good Wife—it is well paper’d and is Packed in a Trunk By John Samuel who haveing other Silk Goods it was putt with his to have the Drawback. As there is three different Breadths...
Copies of letter and enclosure: New-York Historical Society The rare transits of Venus across the sun’s surface were among the most important astronomical occurrences in the eighteenth century because they offered astronomers opportunities to calculate the solar parallax—the angle subtended at the sun by the earth’s radius—and thus not only provided a basis for computing the actual distance...
ALS and AD : American Philosophical Society I send you inclosed a Short account of a Me[teor?]. You have on many accounts a Right to every new Th[ing?] in natural Phylosophy. I leave it to your [Resolu?]tion whether there be any Thing in my Notion of [ torn ] phenomena as I value your Thoughts upon every Thing. And tho’ ever so Short, Yet Sir Your very much ob[liged] and humble [Servant]...
MS not found; reprinted from extract in Sparks, Works , VI , 161 n. By the post I received your favor, enclosing several printed letters relating to the transit of Mercury over the sun. A gentleman here, who is provided with the proper instruments, and well skilled in astronomy, intends to make the necessary observations; to whom, as well as to several others, I shall communicate said letters....
ALS : Haverford College I hope Mine by First Ships with some Books for L:C: [Library Company] as per account on other side and for thyself was Abbe Nolet Letters—are come safe to hand. As Lord Bolingbroke in his Letters that I sent last [autu]mn has insinuated very severe reflections on the authenticity of the Old and New Testament, I have collected the several Replies and Vindications per the...
Letterbook copy: Andover-Newton Theological Seminary Your Febry. 28. with the enclos’d Letters was very acceptable. I am sorry we [are] not provid’d with Instruments to observe the approaching Transit of Mercury. But have long since been determined to be ready for Venus 1769. By Mr. Evans’s Advice I wrote to one Mr. Adams’s in London sending a Catalogue of Instruments for a philosophical...
ALS : American Philosophical Society By the Conveyance of our friend Mr. Watson whose Letter I inclose this will informe you the Abbe sent three books. I only send One by this Ship and another by the Next for fear of Accidents and if you give Mee Leave I will keep the third for my Self. You’l see the purport of Mr. Watsons Letter, the Booke is sent to Messr. Neat & Neave to Come in their...
ALS : Historical Society of Pennsylvania One Patrick Caron with us is the Man that took up Kelly one of the Murderers of Davis and This same Man has been taken up with us on Suspicion of being a Confederate in that affair but from all the Testimony that cou’d be procured to two severel Grand Jurys at our November and March Courts nothing is found against him and he is discharged, so that, no...
Printed in Benjamin Franklin, Experiments and Observations on Electricity (London, 1769), pp. 236–7. I received your letter of April last, and thank you for it. Several things in it make me at a loss which side the truth lies on, and determine me to wait for farther evidence. As to shooting stars, as they are called, I know very little, and hardly know what to say. I imagine them to be passes...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I Received yours of April 28. Your order on me in favour of Mrs. Benger for one Hundred Dollars, shall be punctualy paid when presented, as was your order on me for fifty Pounds. I shall by Next post send an Account of the Stoves paid and those on hand. I am Your Obedient Servant The Inclosed is for my Son in Law, Expected your way from Fiall, if you heare...
Printed form with MS insertions in blanks: American Philosophical Society Know all Men by these Presents, That I Samuel Holland of the Borough of Lancaster and Province of Pensilvania, Printer am Held and firmly bound unto Benjamin Franklin of the City of Philadelphia, Printer in the Sum of Two Hundred Pounds Lawful Money of America to be paid to the said Benjamin Franklin, his certain...
Printed in The Royal Society, Philosophical Transactions , XLVIII , pt. 1 (1753), 318–19. Mr. Benjamin Mecom having received half a dozen circulatory letters from you relating to Mercury’s transit over the sun the 6 of last May, he put them into my hands. One would have sufficed for our island, as we are not overburthen’d with men, who have a taste that way. Hereunder I send you the result of...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I wrote you last Week; since which Nothing new has occurr’d, worth communicating save a [paper?] publish’d by Chattin, that has made a great Noise here; one of which I inclose for your Perusal. It has given great Pleasure to many, and only [angered?] those, as I can learn, whose Approbation of it would be a Condemnation of their own Conduct. There are many...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Received June the 30. 1753. On Board the London for Philadelphia One long Case Mark’d L 4 M C No. 1 which I promise to Deliver (Dangers of the sea Excepted) . paid Freight and primage 6 s. besides one Brown paper bundle of Books of which I cannot give the particulars for I am Just come to Town and To Morrow the Letters are taken away and I go out of Town by...
AD : American Philosophical Society On Sunday last, about 45 Minutes after 3 in the Morning, a Dwelling House, one of a continued Row on the West Side of Second-Street in this Town, was struck by Lightning, but, being at that Time untenanted, no Person was hurt. About 6 aClock the same Morning, I went to take a View thereof, and at that Time made some Notes of the Course which I observ’d the...
ALS : American Philosophical Society It is a great pleasure to Mee to receive so many repeated Instances of my Dear friends regard for Mee, In his Sundry favours of Aprill 17: May 9 June 1. I omitted in a Hurry in mine by Shirley to tell you that your £60 Bill on Lane is accepted and shall be applyed as you have Directed. I know not who Mr. Blair Is or where he Dwells Elce should Inquire after...
DS : American Philosophical Society Franklin’s first academic honor was from Harvard. On July 23, 1753, the President and Fellows recommended him to the Overseers for the degree of master of arts, citing his “great Improvements in Philosophic Learning, and particularly with Respect to Electricity, Whereby his Repute hath been greatly advanc’d in the learned World, not only in Great-Britain,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have much to say but am on the Eve of marrying My Daughter and many Orders in hast from Abroad that I can only add a few Lines to Informe you that your bill of 60 pound is Accepted, and I Intend to pay Osbourn £50. The remainder is for your Disposal when I can find time to Lett you know the Ballance. Your Impartial Account of the state of the Germans came...
Draft: Yale University Library; also copy: Yale University Library Six weeks after receiving a master’s degree from Harvard (see above, p. 16), Franklin was similarly honored by Yale. The resolution of the Corporation, September 12, 1753, read: “by his ingenious Experiments and Theory of Electrical Fire [he] has greatly merited of the Learned World.” Praeses et Socii Academiae Yalensis in novo...