Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Peter Collinson, 7 July 1752

From Peter Collinson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Lond July 7th 1752

I had the pleasure of my Dear friends Letter of 21 March last6 with a Guinea Inclosed but as I have Cash in hand I returned It by Moses Bartram.

The Electrical Experiments have some thing very surprising in them, as all have. Those our Friend Cave Intends to add to thy book as a Supplement and then the Erratas may be added. Before they are printed, Wee shall wait the Return of the Autumn or Spring Ships. It’s likely our Friend Kennersly may add some others, under thy Direction.

By the Publick papers thou will see how thou has sett the French to Work.

I did not Venter to buy the other parts of Middletons Works for I think I have sent some already.7

Shorts Observations may deserve thy Perusal.

Lord St. Johns (or Bolengbooks) Letters are much admired for the purity of Stile after the manner of the Lattin Classicks. If his Heart had been as good as his head He would have been the greatest Genius of this Age.

Both my self and our Friend Jackson are extreamly pleased with thy disertation on the Increase of mankind,8 he Intends to write soone.

J. Greewood9 is an Intelligent young Man, is prepareing a Map for the Proprietor of his remote travels to the Ohio.

These short hints take in good part. Many affairs prevents Mee ading Further than that I am thy affectionate friend

P Collinson

I am much concern’d for the Health of J. Bartram for the sake of his Family. His son Moses promisses Well applies himself with Diligence and Industry.

I find I was mistaken in returning all the Guinea by Him, I have laid out in books and postage £2 6s. 8d. Docr. Mitchell is busie in setling the Roads and Makeing a Mapp of all the Colonies.1 It is very uncertain when He will come over. He is in pretty good Health.

Books sent this year

1752 £ s. d.
Jany 15 By Neave and Neats Ship parcell book 1: 5: 10
Feby 28 By Mesnard Do 1: 0: 6
March 20 By Shirley Feb: Mag and V: Shetland 3:
Aprill By Child. Wilsons Electricity 0: 5: 0
Penrose Do 1: 0
Docr Parsons Observations 4: 6
Ab Lamberts Travels 10:
New Scotch Map 7: 6
1: 8:
By Moses Bartram June 25
Midletons Tracts 4to bound 14:
Bolingbrokes Letters 2 Vol. 10:
Histy Portugal 2 Vol. 10:
Shorts Observation 1 [Vol.] 6:
Hills Essays 5:
Robsons Hudsons bay 3: 6
N: Hist: Herring 3:
March: Ap: May. Maga: 4: 6
  June Magazine 1: 6
2: 17: 6

Addressed: To  Benn. Franklin Esqr  in Philadelphia

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Probably an error for March 20. BF’s letter has not been found. This letter is essentially a continuation of Collinson’s reply of June 3 (see above, pp. 318–20), which discusses most of the same people and topics.

7The books mentioned here and in the invoice are: A Voyage to Shetland, the Orkneys, and the Western Isles of Scotland (London, 1751); Benjamin Wilson, A Treatise on Electricity (2d edit., London, 1752); Francis Penrose, A Treatise on Electricity (Oxford, 1752); James Parsons, Philosophical Observations on the Analogy between the Propagation of Animals and that of Vegetables (London, 1752); Claude Francois Lambert, Curious Observations upon the Manners, Customs, … Languages … of the several Nations of Asia, Africa, and America (2 vols., London, 1750); Conyers Middleton, The Miscellaneous Works (4 vols., London, 1752); Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Letters on the Study and Use of History (2 vols., London, 1752); Jerome Osorio, The History of the Portuguese during the reign of Emmanuel (London, 1752); Thomas Short, New Observations, Natural, Moral, Civil, Political, and Medical, on City, Town, and Country Bills of Mortality (London, 1750); John Hill, Essays in Natural History and Philosophy (London, 1752); Joseph Robson, An Account of Six Years Residence in Hudson’s-Bay (London, 1752); and James S. Dodd, An Essay toward a Natural History of the Herring (London, 1752).

8See above, p. 225, and Jackson to BF, June 17, 1755.

9On Greenwood, see above, p. 318 n.

1John Mitchell’s map of North America was published at London in 1755.

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