Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Small, 19 October 1769

From William Small8

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Birmingham, 19. October 1769

Dear Sir,

I know not how to return the obligation you laid me under by making me acquainted with your respectable friend Mr. Pownall so properly as by introducing to you Dr. Roebuck.9 The Dr. proposes to make but a short stay in London on this occasion, yet, as he will be in your part of the town, I am desirous you should have the pleasure of meeting each other, if it should be only for a few minutes. It is not necessary for me to say this is the gentleman so distinguished for successful applications of great philosophical abilities to important arts. His name will immediately suggest all that. I am with great respect Dear Sir Your most obedient humble Servant

W. Small.

Addressed: To Doctr Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8A former professor of natural history at William and Mary, who had returned to England and settled in Birmingham, where he was one of a group that later became the Lunar Society. See above, XI, 480 n.

9Pownall was probably BF’s old friend Thomas, but might have been his brother John, secretary to the Board of Trade; both were members of the Society of Arts, in which Small was interested. John Roebuck, physician, inventor, and a founder of the Carron ironworks, had recently been associated with James Watt in developing the steam engine. See above, XIII, 166 n, and DNB.

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