Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Alexander Garden, 14 April 1757

To Alexander Garden3

Draft: American Philosophical Society

Dr. Garden

New York, April 14 1757


I am here waiting the Departure of the Pacquet in which I am about to embark for London, and by that means have Leisure to write a little to my Friends, which the distracted State of our Province, and the Hurry of Affairs I have been engag’d in, for some time prevented. I wish now that I had brought some of your ingenious Letters with me,4 that I might have consider’d them fully: particularly what relates to the Element of Fire, and the Quantity receiv’d by the Earth from the Sun, &c. I have touch’d a little on this Subject of Fire, in mine of this Date to Dr. Lining, to which I beg Leave to refer you.5 But Fire is full of Wonders, and as yet we know little of its Nature.

I forwarded your Pacquet and Letter to Mr. Clayton6 as desired, and free of Charge to him. I purpose, God willing, to return from England by way of Carolina, when I promise myself the Pleasure of seeing and conversing with your Friends in Charlestown.

Col. Bouquet,7 who does me the favour to deliver this to you, is a Gentleman whose Conversation you must be pleas’d with, and I am sure a Stranger, of Learning, Ingenuity and Politeness will not fail of your Civilities.8 I therefore only take the Liberty of Introducing him to you, and leave the rest to your self.

I am, with great Esteem and Respect, Sir Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

[In margin in BF’s hand:] Dr. Lining and Garden Col. Bouquet.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3On Dr. Alexander Garden of Charleston, S.C., see above, VI, 187 n. He and BF had become acquainted in 1754 in Philadelphia when he was visiting John Bartram.

4None of Garden’s letters to BF have been found.

5See immediately below.

6John Clayton (c. 1685–1773), an English-born botanist of Virginia. His work on the local plants became the basis for Gronovius’ Flora Virginica (Leyden, 1739, 1743). On meeting him in Williamsburg in 1756 BF invited Clayton to send letters addressed to Bartram or Garden through his hands to save the postage. DAB; Darlington, Memorials, p. 409.

7See immediately above.

8Struck through in the draft: “and Friendship.”

Index Entries