Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Logan, 8 January 1750

From James Logan

Letterbook copy: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Jan. 8th [1750]

My Friend B.F.

If there be any convenient room left, Since my eldest Son6 has rejected the Offer, I am willing my name Should be inserted amongst the Collegues of your Society,7 tho’ very uncapable of being in any manner useful to it, yet I am very desirous to have it by all means promoted, tho’ I expect to be excused from contributing any thing to it more than that £35 Sterl. per an. Settled on my Library for ever.8 I am Thy Affectionate friend


[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6William Logan (1718–1776), educated at Bristol, England, by his uncle Dr. William Logan; a successful merchant in Philadelphia; common councilor and provincial councilor; inherited the Stenton estate. He was a more consistent Friend than his father. Albert C. Myers, ed., Hannah Logan’s Courtship (Phila., 1904), p. 156 n.

7Though at first declining it, Logan accepted this appointment after the Constitutions (see above, p. 421) were copied fair, and BF inserted his name at the head of the list of trustees of the Academy.

8Logan drew up a deed of trust for his library, 1745, and erected a building to house it between Chestnut, Walnut, Sixth, and Seventh Streets. He canceled this deed, intending to make additional provision, but death intervened. His heirs, however, faithfully carried out his intentions, executing deeds of trust, Aug. 28, 1754, and March 25, 1760. The library was annexed to the Library Company by legislative act, 1792. Frederick B. Tolles, James Logan and the Culture of Provincial America (Boston, 1957), pp. 193–4; Loganian Lib. Cat., First Supplement (Phila., 1867), pp. x-xxvii; Edwin Wolf, 2nd, “The Romance of James Logan’s Books,” 3 Wm. and Mary Quar., XIII (1956), 348 n. Logan offered the trustees a lot on Sixth Street for the academy building, but they declined with thanks, Dec. 26, 1749, as the New Building was reckoned “in all respects better suited to their present circumstances and future views.” Montgomery, Hist. Univ. Pa., pp. 57–8.

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