Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Thomson, 24 August 1766

From Charles Thomson

Draft: Library of Congress

Philada. Aug 24 1766

I do not know whether the intimacy with which you have honoured my acquaintance gives me a right to introduce any to your notice with out first having your leave; yet as I have knowledge enough of the goodness of your heart[?] to be assured of the pleasure it will give you to encourage rising genius I am induced to recommend to your notice, Ben. R2 a native of this Town going to Edinburgh, to finish his studies. I should not have taken this Liberty had not Doctr. J. Redman3 whose character you know, called and informed “that Benj had lived with him Six years during which time his moral character behaviour and application was such as a father would wish that of a favourite son to be, and that his Skill and abilities promised him to be a very useful Member of society in his profession.”

As his design in going abroad is wholy for the sake of acquiring medical knowledge, he is Ambitious of being under your patronage, and should think himself extremely happy if by a line from you he could be introduced to the Notice of Men of Letters especially such as are eminent in Physick, Nothing I can say would have equal w[eigh]t with that which Doctr. Redman (who spoke a great deal in his favour) said that any recommendation of that sort would be a service done to Society. He goes accompanied by Jonathan, (a Son of your old friend John Potts);4 in whose behalf you doubtless will have letters from his Friends. I am Sir with the greatest esteem and respect Your affectionate Friend and very humble Servant

Doct. B. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Benjamin Rush (1746–1813), physician and humanitarian, one of the most distinguished American members of the medical profession in his time. DAB; George W. Corner, ed., The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush His “Travels Through Life” together with his Commonplace Book for 1789–1813 (Princeton, 1948); L.H. Butterfield, ed., Letters of Benjamin Rush (2 vols., Princeton, 1951); Carl Binger, Revolutionary Doctor Benjamin Rush 1746–1813 (N.Y., 1966).

3John Redman (above, V, 356 n), whose apprentice Rush had been.

4John Potts (above, XI, 484 n), a member of BF’s political party, who failed of reappointment as J.P. for that reason in 1764. His son Jonathan (1745–1781), Rush’s companion, received his medical degree at the College of Philadelphia in 1768, and served actively with the American forces, 1776–80. DAB.

Index Entries