Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Matthew Boulton, 22 May 1765

To Matthew Boulton9

ALS: The Assay Office, Birmingham

London, May 22. 1765

Dear Sir,

A few Days since I received from Monsr. Godefroy two Parcels of Glass as sent me by you, but without any Letter or Account of the Cost. I esteem it a favour that you took the trouble of procuring it for me, and ought not to put you to Expence without discharging it, which I shall be mindful of doing as soon as may be.

Mr. Baskerville1 informs me, that you have lately had a considerable Addition to your Fortune, on which I sincerely congratulate you.

I beg Leave to introduce my Friend Doctor Small2 to your Acquaintance, and to recommend him to your Civilities. I would not take this Freedom, if I was not sure it would be agreable to you; and that you will thank me for adding to the Number of those who from their Knowledge of you must respect you, one who is both an ingenious Philosopher, and a most worthy honest Man.

If any thing new in Magnetism or Electricity or any other Branch of natural Knowledge, has occurr’d to your fruitful Genius since I last had the Pleasure of seeing you, you will by communicating it, greatly oblige Dear Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mr Matthew Boulton / at / Birmingham / per favour of / Dr Small

Endorsed: Benjn: Franklin (London) 22d: May 1765. introducing the Bearer Dr Wm: Small.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9For Boulton, the Birmingham engineer and the associate of James Watt in developing the steam engine, see above, X, 39 n. While at Birmingham in September 1760, BF had joined Boulton in conducting an experiment on the degree to which glass conducted electricity, hence the mention of “Monsieur Godefroy,” apparently a manufacturer of scientific glassware, in the first paragraph of the present letter. Godefroy is mentioned again in John Baskerville to BF, Sept. 7, 1767, Hist. Soc. Pa.

1John Baskerville, the famous type founder; see above, IX, 257 n.

2William Small, professor of natural history at William and Mary College, 1758–64, one of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite teachers; see above, XI, 480 n.

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