Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Morgan, 7 July 1735

From Joseph Morgan2

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Maidenhead 7. July 1735.

Mr. Franklin

Sir, I have long expected to See the new Edition of The Temp. Inter.3 If it Sell like that which you last printed of mine, you may print many; for they are all gone and people enquire for more, and none to be had. I Sent, as you desired, the places marked in the Margin, where the Additions Should be Set. Have you the Manuscript of Additions, It refers to the Same places: and you have nothing to puzzel you, except to that against Usury, add yet

[The Second Councel at Lateran under Lotharius the Emperour increased to near a thousand Bishops, in the year 1131 deprived Userers of Christian Burial, and cursed them to Hell. See Prideux’s Synopsis of Councels, Pag. 23.

Of this I writ to you Several Times.

And to the End of all you may add

[If an Act were made that no Debt Should be recovered by Law in the Space of three years (except from Persons moving out of the Province) I think in that Time most Debts would be paid, and people in a way to Live: but as it now goes it will be worse and worse; people more and more in Debt, and never better till the country is quite undone.

This I think highly necessary. If you will print it I will Serve you much in Selling and put the Books into better hands. Yet I have first and last paid you Six pounds for Books of the 2 former Sold:4 and more I expect from men afar off. I remain Your Friend and Servant

Joseph Morgan

The £7 is long paid to Mr. Peace as you ordered.

Addressed: To Mr Benjamin Franklin at the New Printing Office near the Market in Philadelphia These

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Joseph Morgan (1671–c.1745), Presbyterian minister at Maidenhead and Hopewell, N.J., since 1729; formerly Congregational minister in Greenwich, Conn., Bedford and East Chester, N.Y., 1697–1709, and minister of the Presbyterian church at Freehold, N.J., 1709–29; honorary M.A., Yale College, 1719. Undisciplined, cantankerous, drinking excessively, and experimenting with judicial astrology, he neglected his parochial duties, and was suspended by the Synod during 1736–39. He wrote several theological tracts, a novel, and many letters to scholars and learned societies about science and invention, especially as related to navigation. BF printed in the Gazette, 1732, two letters of his: on locks to improve navigation and on fish-ladders (see above, I, 192). Dr. Alexander Hamilton described this village philosopher, whom he met at Kingston, N.J., 1744, in Gentleman’s Progress, ed. Carl Bridenbaugh (Chapel Hill, 1948), p. 36. Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., “The Reverend Mr. Joseph Morgan, An American Correspondent of the Royal Society, 1732–1739,” APS Proc., xcv (1951), 254–61; Richard Schlatter, ed., The History of the Kingdom of Basaruah (Cambridge, Mass., 1946), pp. 11–19. The brackets in the text of this letter are in the original.

3The Temporal Interest of North America, published by BF, 1733; no second edition was printed.

4Probably The Nature of Riches, published by BF, 1732, and The Temporal Interest of North America.

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