Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Cadwallader Colden, 28 September 1747

From Cadwallader Colden

ALS: American Philosophical Society

New York Septr 28th 1747

Dear Sir

I am obliged by your favour of the 24th and the Information you give. I have not heard that any of the Indian History are in this place and am very desirous to see one of them assoon at least as any other in this place may because I really do not know of what papers it consists. I sent Mr. Collinson accounts or relations on that subject at several times and now I do not remember particularly what I sent him, perhaps some things which I had no thoughts of their being published.8 Please therefor to procure me one Copy to be sent by next post. One of the letters you inclos’d was from Mr. Osborn the Publisher of that piece wherein I learn that he has given Mr. Collinson 12 copies for me but it is probable these may not arive this year or not till late in November at soonest.9 I am at this time hurried with the publick dispatches to go by the Man of war which is to sail to morrow morning. If I can have so much time I shall answer his letter. He desires me to recommend some correspondents to him for trade in his way. I shall mention you as one that can be the most useful to him.

I deliver’d your piece on Electricity to Mr. Darling assoon as [I] receiv’d yours by him.

You may see by the inclos’d that Mr. John Hughes Tanner and Tavern keeper in Exeter township1 has a servant man who run away from me last summer. If you will take the trouble to agree for his time or to send him back to me or in my absence to Mr. Nicholls2 I shall be obliged to you and [it] will be an addition to many favour. Or desire Mr. Ermit3 to do it. I was told Mr. Ermit was gon to Boston. I have now for a considerable time expected his return through this place but have never heard of him. Please to let me know whether he be well and return’d. I have no time to write to him by this Post. Your most obliged servant

Cadwallader Colden

Addressed: To  Mr Benjn Franklin  Post Master in  Philadelphia

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Colden had sent Collinson in 1742 revisions of the 1727 edition of his History of the Five Indian Nations, as well as the Continuation, which appeared as Part II of Osborne’s 1747 edition. He also forwarded other materials on Indian affairs, from time to time, sent copies of Indian treaties, and suggested including his memorial on the fur trade (printed at New York in 1724) in a new edition of the Indian History. Collinson had a free hand in putting the book together, but he and Colden both disapproved of Osborne’s title page and new dedication. Colden Paps., III, 410; IX, 19.

9Thomas Osborne to Colden, June 12, 1747, Colden Paps., III, 402–3.

1BF recorded in Ledger D purchases by Hughes, whom he described as “Tanner of Oley.” Oley and Exeter are adjoining townships in Berks County, Pa.

2Richard Nicholls, lawyer, postmaster of New York, whose daughter married Colden’s son Alexander. See above, II, 407 n.

3John Armitt of Philadelphia, who handled Colden’s business there.

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