From Peter Collinson4
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Septr. 27: 1752 ns
My Dear Friend
In thine of June 195 mention is made of not receiveing a Letter which is a disappoinment to mee who keeps no Coppys. I always am carefull to Carry Letters my Self so how it should happen can’t say and I took particular care to write by Mesnard because of the books and Johns Watches and I saw it putt in the bagg. That Two should miscarry I cannot comprehend and I always Inclose John Bartrams in thine for more Certainty. It gives Mee unspeakable Joye to heare your Seminary of Learning has so promissing an aspect. Pray Lett Mee hear from Time to Time. I wish my Little offices has been of any Service. Your Electrical Observations came safe and packquet Deliverd to Mr. Jackson. His acknowledgement went by the Vessel that Sail’d before this. I put it my Self into the Letter Box.
I am much Obliged for the pretty Mapp. There wants a good one of your Capital. I lent the Curious Account of your Births and Burials &c.6 to a Curious friend and it can’t be found which gives Mee Concern. Pray send another.
All Europe is in Agitation on Verifying Electrical Experiments on points. All commends the Thought of the Inventor. More I dare not Saye least I offend Chast Ears.
I writt by Jo: Greenwood who I hope is arrived safe and sent books &c.
All Admire our Friend Peters Sermon.7 I wish my Dear Friend you’l oblige the Ingenious part of Mankind with a publick View of your Observations &c. on the Increase of Mankind.8 I don’t find anyone has hit it off so well. This very short commendation may be allow’d Mee without offence. The Bagg waits takeing away so must conclude with my best wishes for thy preservation and am thy Affectionate friend
I have many things to say but time wont permit the Ship going sooner then I Expected.
Addressed: To Benn Franklin Esqr Philadelphia
4. Most of the subjects covered in this letter were discussed in Collinson’s letter of August 15 (above, p. 341).
5. Not found.
6. Evidently BF had sent Collinson one or more of the annual broadsides with printed accounts of births and deaths in Christ Church parish, Philadelphia. Deaths were classified by ages and diseases (in the year 1751 smallpox and consumption accounted for precisely half the burials. Evans 6755); and totals were given of burials in other cemeteries.
7. Richard Peters, A Sermon on Education (Phila., 1751).
8. BF’s Observations on the Increase of Mankind (above, p. 225) circulated in MS for several years more before he allowed it to be printed, 1755.