Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Shippen, Junior, 15 November 1767

From William Shippen, Junior

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia 15th. Novr. 1767

Dear Sir

I now have the pleasure of enclosing a short account of the appearances on the dissection of that curious production, which I had the honor of sending to the royal society last summer;4 should have done so long agoe had I not unfortunately mislaid my notes which I did not find till last week.

I pray you will show it first to my learned friend Dr. Pringle5 who I know will be so good as to correct any inaccuracys previous to its being laid before the society. Please to present my best and most respectful compliments to the Doctor and present him with the enclosed account of our medical school which he very [much] approved and patronized; we have in this city this year upwards of 30 pupils studying physic, 24 of them attend my course of anatomical lectures.6

Last night I had the pleasure of supping at Burlington with Governor Franklin on the fattest saddle of Venison I ever saw; The Governor and Lady very well, all friends well in Philadelphia. The paving of the streets conduces much to the health of the inhabitants and is a very heavy tax on the physicians.7 I give you Joy on the marriage of your daughter, who is now in new york with Mr. Bache8—and am with much respect Dear Sir Your very humble Servant

W Shippen junr

Addressed: To / Doctor Benjamin Franklin / in Craven street, Strand / London / by favor Capt. E. Story.9

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4See above, pp. 148–9, for Shippen’s letter accompanying a wax model of female “Siamese twins” encountered in Philadelphia. As stated in connection with that letter, neither the account of the dissection nor the report to the Royal Society has been found.

5Sir John Pringle.

6On the establishment of the Medical School in Philadelphia in 1765 following Dr. John Morgan’s proposals, see above, XII, 152–3, 203 n. As early as the winter of 1762–63, however, Shippen had been presenting lectures on anatomy in Philadelphia, aided by a gift of seven cases of anatomical materials from Dr. John Fothergill; above, X, 170. Shippen had been appointed professor of Anatomy and Surgery at the College of Philadelphia in 1765.

7For BF’s interest in paving and cleaning the streets, see above, VII, 316–18; XIII, 9–10; and Autobiog. (APS–Yale edit.), pp. 202–6.

8This is the earliest known report to BF of the marriage of his daughter Sarah to Richard Bache on Oct. 29, 1767.

9Pa. Chron., Nov. 9–16, 1767, reported the clearance of the ship Unity, Capt. E. Story, for London.

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