Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Bowdoin, 20 September 1763

From James Bowdoin7

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Roxbury 20 Septr. 1763

Dear Sir

I am much obliged for yesterday’s Communications.8 You’ll permit me to adopt a request of Father Beccaria. “Si alia habeas [Scripta praesertim Franklini] quae a me desiderari posse putes (quid autem esse potest Franklinianarum Rerum quod non planè depeream?) quaeque verecundè peti abs me posse arbitrere, ut mittas etiam atque etiam efflagito.”9

I congratulate you upon the Honors confer’d upon you. Honors so well placed reflect a Lustre on the Bestowers. I am with much esteem Sir, Your most Obedient Servant

James Bowdoin

I now return the Papers you favoured me with yesterday.

Dr. Franklin

Addressed: Dr. Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7On Bowdoin, BF’s scientific correspondent, see above, IV, 69 n.

8Not found, but from what follows probably a list of BF’s honors and copies of his citations; see above, pp. 309–11.

9A quotation from a letter by Giambatista Beccaria (above, V, 395 n) to Peter Collinson, June 13, 1756. Freely translated the quotation reads: “If you have any others [especially writings of Franklin] which you think I might desire (but what can there be of Franklin’s papers which I should not be delighted with) I over and over earnestly beg that you send what you think I can reasonably ask.” The bracketed words are Bowdoin’s insertion. Ezra Stiles kept a copy of this letter among his papers (Yale Univ. Lib.) and another copy exists in the Yale College Records along with other documents relating to BF’s honors. It is printed in full in Antonio Pace, Benjamin Franklin in Italy (Phila., 1958), p. 381.

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