Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Bowdoin, [March 1753?]

From James Bowdoin

MS not found; reprinted from extract in Sparks, Works, VI, 161 n.

[March? 1753]

By the post I received your favor, enclosing several printed letters relating to the transit of Mercury over the sun.5 A gentleman here, who is provided with the proper instruments, and well skilled in astronomy, intends to make the necessary observations;6 to whom, as well as to several others, I shall communicate said letters. The rarity of the appearance, and the improvement in geography and astronomy to be expected from it, will induce them, I hope, to make their observations with such accuracy as shall answer the end proposed.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5See above, pp. 415–22, 446. The copy Bowdoin received is in Mass. Hist. Soc.

6Professor John Winthrop (see above, p. 261 n). If he made observations, they did not answer the end proposed.

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