Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Lord Kames, 21 January 1769

From Lord Kames

Extract: reprinted from Jared Sparks, ed., The Works of Benjamin Franklin … (10 vols., Boston, 1836–40), VII, 432 n.

Edinburgh, January 21st, 1769.

The letter you mention, about American affairs, never came to hand.3 I have an essay on the subject of your Queries, and you shall hear from me soon about our agreeing or differing.4 I have a great fund of political knowledge reduced into writing, far from being ripe, but fit for your perusal. If you will come to my aid, I know not but that we shall make a very good thing of it. If not, it may be lost to the world, and what a loss will that be!

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3See BF to Kames above, Jan. 1, to which this letter is a reply.

4The wording suggests that BF had sent his friend a copy of his “Queries” to those advocating a strong line against the Americans, published the previous summer; see above, XV, 187–9. It is possible, alternatively, that Kames is referring to the enclosure in BF’s letter of Jan. 1, which we conjectured was a draft of “Positions to Be Examined”; in that case, however, Kames’s essay must have been written in remarkably short order.

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