Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Peter Collinson, 15 August 1752

From Peter Collinson

ALS: Haverford College Library

Lond Augt. 15: 1752

I had the pleasure of my Dear friend Letter of June 19th:6 It gives Mee concern for find my Letters Miscarried, for I writ both by Neat Ship and by Mesnard and I keep no Coppys. Indeed what I write generally in a Hurry does not deserve It but there was some things my Friends may be glad to know. In particular there was J. Bartrams Orders and Letters of advice of the Two silver Watches Inclosed in thy Letter which I Deliverd at the Coffeehouse and saw putt in the Bagg.

Our friend Jackson is prepareing his Observation and remarks on thy Curious paper which I will send by first Ship as Here is several to sail this autumn.7

It Delights Mee to hear that the Academy goes on so finely. The Proprietors have strong Inclinations to Encourage and support It which must prove of universal Bennefit in every Capacity publick and private.

The Books are getting ready but I am afraid not time enough to Come by this Ship. A few books I send for the L:C: Voltair will please thee.8

The Map was very acceptable but pray how happend the place not to be Marked where the State House stands which is a fine Ornamental Building.9

Our papers are full of Electrical Experiments. Thou sees a Little Electrical Hint give at Philadelphia has stimulated all Europe. I have not yet got a french Translation.1 Expect it soone.

In some of my Spring Letters I took some Notice of Mr. Peters Sermon.2 Is that come to hand?

By Moses Bartram sent parcell Books who I hope is come safe.

Mr. Greenwood has been several times with Mee is a pretty Intelligent young Man.3 He has promissed to take Care of this pacquet.

By my Friend J. Bartrams Letter of June 17th4 I hope he has recoverd the Cold that was so severe. I cannot answer his Letter by this Occation. His Clocks &c. will come in the Trunk of books.

Now my Dear friend Farewell

P Collinson

Please to tell J: Bartram that Govr. Shirley has paid for his Seeds. Pray tell J: Bartram to send Mee a Book of his Medicina Britannice5 for Doc Linnaeus in Sweeden and one for my self.

Addressed: To  Ben Franklin  Esqr  Pensilvania

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Not found.

7Richard Jackson’s remarks on BF’s Observations on the Increase of Mankind were probably not ready until June 17, 1755. But see Carl Van Doren, ed., Letters and Papers of Benjamin Franklin and Richard Jackson, 1753–1785 (Phila., 1947), p. 58.

8Probably the second edition of Voltaire’s Age of Lewis XIV, published by Robert Dodsley in London, July 1752.

9Scull and Heap’s Map of Philadelphia, and Parts Adjacent, With a Perspective View of the State-House, 1750. The view of the State House appeared in Gent. Mag., XXII (Sept. 1752), facing p. 396; and the map, which located the court house but not the State House, was printed in ibid., XXIII (1753), facing p. 372.

1BF’s Exper. and Obser. was translated by Dalibard and published at Paris early in 1752 as Expériences et Observations sur l’Electricité faites en Amérique.

2Richard Peters, A Sermon on Education on John 8:32 (“And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”), preached at the opening of the Academy, gave an account of its founding. The sermon was printed in September 1751, with BF’s Idea of the English School (above, p. 101) as an appendix. Collinson’s “Spring Letters” are probably those mentioned in the first paragraph of this letter as miscarrying; they have not been found.

3On Greenwood, see above, p. 318 n.

4This letter is not in Darlington, Memorials.

5Thomas Short, Medicina Britannica, published at London, 1746, was reprinted by Franklin and Hall, 1751, with preface and notes and an appendix on American medicinal plants by John Bartram. Collinson acknowledged receiving the books in a letter to Bartram, Feb. 13, 1753. Darlington, Memorials, p. 191.

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