Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from [William?] Curtis, 23 October 1769: résumé

From [William?] Curtis8

AL: American Philosophical Society

[Monday, October 23, (1769?).9 An invitation to dine on Thursday in Martin’s Lane with Dr. Price, Mr. Canton, and Dr. Jeffries.1]

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8William Curtis (1746–99) was a Quaker physician and botanist, who later acquired considerable fame as the translator of Linnaeus and an expert on the flora of London. DNB. If our conjectural date is correct he was scarcely twenty-three at the time, and his youth perhaps makes him an implausible host for such eminent men. He was, however, precocious, and by 1771 he seems to have been moving in the circle of BF’s friends; see Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., “Thomas Parke’s Student Life in England and Scotland, 1771–1773,” PMHB, LXXV (1951), 241, 243, 246.

91769 was the only year during BF’s second mission when Oct. 23 fell on a Monday.

1Only one of these guests needs introduction: Dr. Joseph Jeffries was a dissenting clergyman and a member of the Club of Honest Whigs. See Van Doren, Franklin, p. 402; Verner W. Crane, “The Club of Honest Whigs: Friends of Science and Liberty,” WM&Q, 3d ser., XXIII (1966), 217 n, 218.

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