From Peter Collinson
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Lond. March 21: 1753
My Dear friend
By the Conveyance of our friend Mr. Watson whose Letter I inclose this will informe you the Abbe sent three books.7 I only send One by this Ship and another by the Next for fear of Accidents and if you give Mee Leave I will keep the third for my Self. You’l see the purport of Mr. Watsons Letter, the Booke is sent to Messr. Neat & Neave to Come in their Letter Box. At Times I have sent 2: 3 or &c. parcells to their Care, but I cant remember.
When you see your proprietor Richards Son pray tell Him in a Visit I made a few Days agon to the young Duke of Richmond8 who is now in London that He In a Very particular Manner Inquired after his Wellfare and express a great Regard for Him and gave Him a Very advantageous Character.
I am with Respect and Esteem Yours
Addressed: To Benn. Franklin Esqr Philadelphia Per Capt Budden
7. Collinson may mean: “This will inform you the Abbé sent three books by the conveyance of our friend Mr. Watson, whose letter I enclose”; i.e., Nollet sent three copies of his Lettres sur L’Electricité (Paris, 1753) to William Watson to be forwarded to BF. Watson’s letter might be a covering letter to either BF or Collinson. Apparently Collinson had already sent BF a copy of Nollet’s work (see above, p. 454).
8. John Penn (1729–1795) was in Pennsylvania, 1752–55, where he was appointed to the Council, 1753, and named a commissioner to the Albany Congress, 1754. He returned to Pennsylvania as lieutenant governor, 1763–71, and again, 1773–76. His second wife was a daughter of Chief Justice William Allen. DAB. He may have become acquainted with the young Duke of Richmond through Collinson, a close friend of the second duke (1701–1750), whom he advised on gardening, and for whom he ordered American plants, seeds, and trees from John Bartram. Darlington, Memorials, pp. 157, 170, 178, 180, 183.