Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from George Baker, 13 July 1767

From George Baker3

AL: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Monday 11 o’clock 13. July, 1767

Dr. Baker waited on Dr. Franklyn, in order to shew him the inclosed paper, which is extracted from a paper which Dr. B. is to read this afternoon at the College of Physicians.4

If Dr. Franklyn has any thing to object, or to add, Dr. B. will take it as a particular favour, if he will send his alterations to him in Jermyn-Street.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3George Baker (1722–1809), F.R.S., 1762, received his M.D. in 1756 and began practicing in London in 1761. He became physician to the King and Queen and was made a baronet in 1776. Between 1785 and 1795 he was elected president of the College of Physicians nine times. His most important contributions to medical knowledge were his discoveries that the Devonshire colic and the colica Pictonum were forms of lead poisoning. Baker loved literature and “wrote graceful Latin prose and amusing epigrams.” DNB.

4On June 29, 1769, Baker had read before the College of Physicians the first part of his paper on the Devonshire colic; this was published during the summer or early fall. London Chron., Oct. 27–29, 1767; The Scots Magazine, XXIX (1767), 543. The second part of his paper was probably what he wanted BF to read and comment on before he presented it at the College two weeks later. BF wrote Cadwalader Evans, Feb. 20, 1768, that he had told Baker about the “mischief” done by the use of leaden equipment in distilling rum in New England and that Baker had used this information “in the second Part of his piece not yet published.” Hazard’s Register of Pennsylvania, XVI (1835), 66.

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