Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to James Logan, 18 September 1749

To James Logan

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

[September 18, 1749]

For the reason you mention, I am of the same opinion, that Dr. Free has not considered the Picts’ language as you have done, but imagines with other writers that the Pict nation was totally destroyed and its language with it.9

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9See above, p. 390. John Free wrote of the Pictish language that, with “the Saxon to the South, and the Gaelick to the North of the Friths gaining daily such Ground upon it, at the last it was quite extinguished.” An Essay towards an History of the English Tongue (London, 1749), p. 56. Free used other writers, notably Thomas Innes, A Critical Essay on the Ancient Inhabitants of the Northern Parts of Britain, or Scotland (2 vols., London, 1729), accepting his views on the extinction of the Picts, although disagreeing with him on their origin.

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