Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Peter Collinson, 17 October 1767

From Peter Collinson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Mill Hill Saturday 17: Octor [17676]

I was glad to hear my Dear Friend was Safe Arrived In the happy land of Liberty—and more So, that Wee shall Have the pleasure of his Company at Mill Hill.

If He will do Us that Favour Next Fryday or Saturday it will be perfectly Suiteable and Agreeable to Us. I have wrote by this post to Docr. Solander that He may come to you and Settle the Time to be convenient to Both.7 In hopes of our Agreeable Meeting I am your Affectionate Friend

P Collinson

My Sons8 best Services

There is a New Large Coach on Springs that comes every Day from the Bull Inn in Holbourn.

Addressed: To / Benn: Franklin Esqr / at Mrs. Stevenson’s in / Craven Street9

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6October 17 fell on a Saturday in both 1761 and 1767. Although BF, WF, and Richard Jackson returned from a journey to the Netherlands about Sept. 20, 1761, Collinson’s pleasure at hearing that BF had arrived “In the happy land of Liberty” sounds much more like the return to England from France on Oct. 8, 1767, than that from the Dutch Republic on September 20 of the earlier year. Collinson’s failure to mention WF, or to include him specifically in the invitation, tends to support the 1767 dating.

7For Daniel Charles Solander, who had visited the Collinsons with BF during the previous July, see above, p. 215 n. A letter from Collinson to Solander, dated just as is this letter to BF and directing Solander to “concert Measures” with BF about going to Mill Hill, is among the Franklin Papers, APS.

8Michael Collinson.

9Mounted at the same page in the Franklin Papers, APS, is an undated, unaddressed note signed by Collinson. It reads: “I thought the Abbe Nolets had been 3 Distinct books, but I find they are separate Books so have sent them all—have no time to look into them—So expect their Account from you.” This note certainly relates to Nollet’s Lettres sur L’Électricité (Paris, 1753), of which he sent three copies to William Watson to be forwarded to BF in March 1753; Watson delivered them to Collinson to be sent with a shipment of books for the Library Co. Had this note been identified in time it would have been printed as probably belonging to that month; see above, IV, 454, 457–8.

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