Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Charles Norris, 16 September 1758

To Charles Norris

ALS: Library of Congress

London, Sept. 16. 1758.

Dear Sir,

I received your Favours of May 17. and June 15.5 and am glad the Books on Husbandry and Gardening got safe to hand. I shall send the others you write for per Bolitho, if I can get them on board.6

I hope the Crab Apple Trees you have planted will grow, and be propagated in our Country. I do not find that England any where produces Cyder of equal Goodness with what I drank frequently in Virginia made from those Crabs. They are also said to be plentiful Bearers, and seldom fail. I should be glad to see the Industry of our People supplying the Neighbouring Colonies with that Cyder. I think it would even be valued here.

It is as you say surprizing to find such Opinions prevailing here, of the Wealth and Populousness of Pensilvania. This, among other Prejudices to our Disadvantage, propagated by our Enemies, I hope will be removed by a Piece to be published next Winter, which I have now under Correction;7 and then I have reason to believe our Affairs may more easily be put into a better Situation than they have been for some Years past.

Be pleased to present my best Respects to your Sister.8 I send her some Colliflower seed, which Mrs. Charles9 procurd for ’me, said to be of an excellent kind. Remember me also affectionately to the Brothers and Sister at Sasquehanah,1 when you have Occasion to write to them. I shall send them some more Pamphlets when the season comes on.

The Spirits of the People here seem at present a good deal elated with our late Successes, and that of the King of Prussia.2 I long to hear that you have succeeded at the Ohio, being in pain for the Forces gone thither.3

With great Esteem, I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient Servant

B Franklin

Mr. Cha. Norris

Endorsed: Lond: Septr. 16th. 1758 Benjamin Franklin Esqr recd Janry. 11th. 1759

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Not found.

6See above, VII, 176 n, for two of the books sent to Norris; below, p. 158, for the others.

7Richard Jackson’s Historical Review (London, 1759).

8Probably Deborah Norris, unmarried sister of Charles and Isaac, who at this time was living with the widowed Charles at his home on Chestnut Street. She was almost as much interested in gardening as he was. Edward Armstrong, ed., Correspondence between William Penn and James Logan, I (Phila., 1870), xliii n.

9Mrs. Robert Charles, eldest daughter of Patrick Gordon, governor of Pa., 1726–36. Mabel P. Wolff, The Colonial Agency of Pennsylvania 1712–1757 (Phila., 1933), p. 121.

1James, John, and Susanna Wright; see above, IV, 210–11; VI, 101–2. They and Norris were close friends.

2The British capture of Louisbourg and the defeat of the Russians at Zorndorf by Frederick II of Prussia on Aug. 25, 1758. The latter was reported in London Chron., Sept. 7–9, 1758.

3The Forbes expedition which captured Fort Duquesne, Nov. 25, 1758.

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