Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Ezra Stiles, 19 June 1764

To Ezra Stiles

ALS: Yale University Library

Philada. June 19. 1764

Reverend and dear Sir,

I sent you some time last Fall a Set of Chinese Prints, or rather Prints taken from Chinese Pictures, relating to the Culture of Silk in that Country.1 I hope they got to hand, tho” I have not heard of your Receiving them.

My Brother brought me from you, Æpinus’s Pieces.2 I thank you for your Care in returning them. He tells me you would like to have one of the new Prints of your Friend.3 As there are a few others in your Government, who do me the Honour to have some regard for me, and who perhaps I may never again have the Pleasure of visiting in any other Manner, I have taken the Liberty to trouble you with the Care of six of those Prints to be distributed agreable to the enclos’d List, as you have convenient Opportunity. They are said, in Point of Execution, to be extreamly well done. As to Likeness, there are different Opinions, as usual in such Cases. I send them roll’d in a Tin Case, as folding might damage them. With the sincerest Esteem, I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Revd. Mr. Stiles.

Endorsed: Recd June 1764 Ansd July 17 17644


Rev. Mr Stiles

Govr Ward

Mrs. Cath. Greene of Warwick

Dr. Babcock

Capt. Buckmaster

Mr. Lendall als[?] Lyndon

1See above, X, 389.

2Peter Franklin (C.9), formerly of Newport, moved to Philadelphia in the spring or early summer of 1764 with his wife (below, p. 253) and assumed charge of the local post office in the following October. BF’s copies of Aepinus” writings on magnetism had been lent to interested friends in New England. See above, X, 351–2, 389, and this volume, above, p. 254, and below, pp. 246, 254.

3In May 1763 BF had no print available of either of his recent portraits, those by Benjamin Wilson and Mason Chamberlain, but on Feb. 24, 1764, he was able to send a number of Edward Fisher’s mezzotint prints of the Chamberlain portrait to Jonathan Williams for distribution. See above, X, 266, and this volume, pp. 89–90.

4Not found.

5In addition to Stiles himself, the persons in R.I. to receive copies of the Fisher mezzotint were: Gov. Samuel Ward (above, V, 504 n); Catharine Ray Greene (above, V, 502 n); Joshua Babcock of Westerly (above, VI, 174 n); probably George Buckmaster, whose first wife had been BF’s niece Abiah Franklin (C.11.1; above, VIII, 93 n); and probably also Josias Lyndon (1704–1778), of Newport, clerk of the R.I. Assembly, trustee of the newly founded College of R.I., governor, 1768–69. According to Stiles, Lyndon was “a Gentleman of an amiable and respectable reputation, of Politeness and of a good Estate.” Edmund S. and Helen M. Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis Prologue to Revolution (Chapel Hill, [1953]), p. 185; David S. Lovejoy, Rhode Island Politics and the American Revolution, 1760–1776 (Providence, 1958), pp. 136–40; Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Rhode Island (Providence, 1881), pp. 97–8.

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