Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to James Logan, 7 November 1748

To James Logan

MS not found; reprinted from extract in Sparks, Works, VII, 39–40.

[November 7, 1748]

I send you herewith the late Voyage for the Discovery of the Northwest Passage,8 which I hope may afford you some entertainment. If you have the Journal of the French Academicians to Lapland,9 I should be glad to see it.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Probably [Charles Swaine], An Account of a Voyage For the Discovery of a North-West Passage by Hudson’s Streight, which Collinson had sent BF June 14 (see above, p. 300).

9Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, La Figure de la Terre, déterminéepar les Observations de Messieurs de Maupertuis, Clairaut, Camus, Le Monnier et de M. l’abbé Outhier (Paris, 1738). Logan owned a copy of the English translation, The Figure of the Earth (London, 1738). The commission was appointed by the King of France. The first four were members of the Royal Academy of Sciences; Outhier was a correspondent of that body. The expedition also included Anders Celsius, professor of astronomy at Uppsala. Peter Kalm was surprised to find on his visit to Canada, 1749, that his expenses were paid by the French government because Sweden had allowed Maupertuis and his companions to have “all thing the wanted gratis, or for nothing.” Kalm to Bartram, Aug. 6, 1749, Darlington, Memorials, p. 369.

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