Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Jared Eliot, 1 September 1755

To Jared Eliot

ALS: Yale University Library

Philada. Sept. 1. 1755.

Dear Sir

I wrote to you yesterday,4 and now I write again. You will say, It can’t rain, but it pours: For I not only send you manuscript but living Letters. The first may be short, but the latter will be longer and yet more agreable. Mr. Bartram I believe you will find to be at least 20 folio Pages, large Paper, well fill’d, on the Subjects of Botany, Fossils, Husbandry, and the first Creation.5 This Mr. Allison is as many or more, on Agriculture, Philosophy, your own Catholick Divinity, and various other Points of Learning, equally useful and engaging. Read them both. ’Twill take you at least a Week; and then answer, by sending me two of the like kind, or by Coming yourself. If you fail of this, I shall think I have overballanc’d my Epistolary Account, and that you will be in my debt as a Correspondent for at least a 12 month to come.

I remember with Pleasure the chearful Hours I enjoy’d last Winter in your Company, and would with all my heart give any ten of the thick old Folios that stand on the Shelves before me; for a little Book of the Stories you then told with so much Propriety and Humour. Adieu, my dear Friend, and believe me ever Yours affectionately

B Franklin

Dr. Elliot

P. S. The Piece of Iron Ore you mention’d in yours of April 10.6 never came to hand. I forgot to mention, that the Bearer Mr. Allison is Rector of our Academy and my particular Friend. He is on a Journey Northward for Health.

Addressed: To / The Reverend Mr Jared Elliot / at / Killingworth / Connecticut / per favour of / the Revd. Mr Allison

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4See above, p. 172.

5After his visit to Killingworth, John Bartram (above, II, 378 n) characterized Eliot to Peter Collinson as “a good sort of man, … [who] endeavours for the general good of mankind … and very agreeable in his conversation with his friends.” Darlington, Memorials, p. 200. Bartram’s first letter to Eliot after returning to Pennsylvania was written March 14, 1756. Ibid., pp. 373–4.

6Letter not found. Eliot was one of those who developed ore beds in western Connecticut, and he received the gold medal of the Society of Arts of London for his method, published 1762, of making iron from black sea sand. DAB.

Index Entries