Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Peter Collinson, 3 June 1752

From Peter Collinson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Lond June 3d: 1752

My Dear friend

I have wrote you before possibly you may receive Two Letters by one Ship—for here is Two Just going together and I cannot say whitch had my First. This serves to thank you for your favour of March 20th with the sundry Curious Articles besides.7 Greewood has been with Mee.8 I have recommended him to your Proprietor who Desires much to see Him, and does not take it well that Mr. Peters &c. does not recommend all such persons that have been Travellers, that may give Him Informations of the progress of the back settlements, of the French Incroachments and of the Indian Polity.9 Docr. Mitchell showed Mee a New Mapp of Pensilvania sent over by your Governor.1 The Doctor is Makeing a New Mapp of all our Colonies for the Board of Trade, Haveing the Assistance of all these Manuscrip Mapps and which are abundance in particular a Mapp sent by an Officer of the York Forces, which much fuller Discribes the Country and Settlements on Mohawk, Oswego and the fork of Susquehanna then your Governers Mapp.2 Docr. Mitchell gives his Service but his prodegious Engagements as above, prevents his Writeing by these Ships so hopes to be Excused. The post office for whom also he has made a Map is under great Difficulties in Setling its Income from the Colonies, which prevents his Comeing over so soone as was Expected.3 Pray send Docr. Coldens Letter. He stands very fair of being appointed president of the Council in the absence of the Governer.4

It was Needless to send the Guinea. I have half a Guinea more in my Hands then will pay my petty Disbursments. Think to return it by Moses Bartram.5

I have sent by Child 2 books on Electricity Lately publishd to you and some more for the Library Company as per Letter.

Mr. Jackson and myself are greatly Entertain’d on your Obs[ervations] on In[crease of] Mankind.6 I expect Mr. Jackson will write you on It. Your yearly bill &c. is very acceptable.7

In 2 Weeks the proprietor Thomas expects to be a Father.8

Mr. Cave intends to add your New Experiments on Electricity by Way of Supplement to the printed account.9

Candidly take these rude Lines as a mark of the Sincere friendship of Yours

P Collinson

Pray what becomes of James Logan Library.

Addressed: To  Benn Franklin  these

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Not found.

8J. Greenwood was described by Collinson (below, p. 334) as “an Intelligent young Man,” who was “prepareing a Map for the Proprietor of his remote travels to the Ohio.” Later he was an Indian trader associated with George Croghan; he sent Collinson a description of the American bison and some teeth of prehistoric beasts, probably mastodons. Darlington, Memorials, pp. 238, 239.

9Just at this time James Alexander sent Colden a request from Peters asking for a map showing the boundaries of New York, and offering to pay any price for one. Colden Paps., IV, 336–7.

1The second edition of Evans’ map of 1749, published 1752. Henry N. Stevens, Lewis Evans: His Map (3d edit., London, 1924), pp. 1–4. At least a MS version of the map was available earlier. I Pa. Arch., II, 60–3.

2Not identified.

3Dr. John Mitchell (see above, II, 415 n) hoped to be made deputy postmaster general for North America, as did Colden, who was also proposed for lieutenant governor of New York. Colden Paps., IV, 287, 313, 334. Mitchell’s Map of the British and French Dominions in North America was published in London under the auspices of the Board of Trade, 1755. DAB.

4Colden did not stand so “fair” as Collinson thought; he was not appointed.

5Moses Bartram (1732–1809), son of John Bartram, had gone to England as a sailor, but the ship was sold and he had no way to get home. Collinson would not let him ship as a sailor to the West Indies, London sailors being a profligate crew, but clothed him and paid his passage to Philadelphia. Bartram tumbled and tossed about the world for several years (Collinson’s phrase), then became an apothecary and practitioner of medicine in Philadelphia. Ernest Earnest, John and William Bartram (Phila., 1940), pp. 93, 152; Darlington, Memorials, pp. 184–5, 202. He was a manager of the Philadelphia Silk Society, a member of APS, and one of the founders of the Society of Free Quakers.

6See above, p. 225.

7Possibly the yearly bills of mortality which BF sometimes sent.

8Thomas Penn married Lady Juliana Fermor, daughter of the Earl of Pomfret, Aug. 22, 1751. Their first child, William, was born June 21, 1752, and died Feb. 14, 1753. PMHB, XXI (1897), 337, 341.

9Supplemental Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Part II. Made at Philadelphia in America, by Benjamin Franklin, Esq. (London, 1753). Pagination [89]–109.

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