Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Bartram, 29 November 1769

From John Bartram

ALS: American Philosophical Society

November the 29th 1769

Dear worthy Friend

Yesterday I had the pleasure of takeing Mrs. Franklin by the hand in her own house as allso thy daughter and grandson a fine boy. Likewise thy sister from Boston all whome I expect at my house according to promise.9 I have now before me thy dear affectionate letter of July the 9th 1769. My health and familys still continueth: (God allmight be praised and adored) I sent my Journal of No. and So. Carolina Georgia and florida to Peter Collinson who approved of it.1 I dont doubt but Michal Collinson if thee desireth it would readyly lend it to thee and if thee should think it worth printing it I have nothing against it with proper correction which I know thee is very capable to do.

I have received doctor Fothergills and Michael Collinsons letters the latter declines haveing any thing to do in the seeds affair. The doctor recommends his nephew as a very honest person to supply our dear Peters place with relation to disposeing of the seeds and receiveing and remiting the money.2 I have thoughts of giveing him orders for the same purpose if he pleas to accept it. This is one of the worst seed year I ever knowed the excesive dry summer [and] terible storm hath demolished most: I have collected what I could but cant assure them all to vegitate such as thay are I offer freely to my dear friend.

I have not any of that rhubarb growing of which thee kindly sent me a draught, if thee please to send me a few seeds it would much oblige thy sincear friend3

John Bartram

I have a couple of Bull frogs in a Barrel with Colocasia roots4 to Doctor Fothergill for the King. I wish thay may come safe and be the first.

Benjamin Franklin

Addressed: To / Mr Benjamin Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9For Sally’s baby see DF to BF above, Aug. 31. Jane Mecom had recently arrived in Philadelphia after visiting WF and his family at Burlington. Van Doren, Franklin–Mecom, p. 111; DF to BF above under Nov. 20.

1See Bartram to BF above, April 10, 1769.

2Collinson’s letter has not survived, but Dr. Fothergill’s is printed in William Darlington, Memorials of John Bartram and Humphry Marshall … (Philadelphia, 1849), pp. 339–41. The Doctor’s nephew, James Freeman, was a mercer, who was living in the house in Gracechurch Street that Peter Collinson had occupied.

3The offer of seed and request for rhubarb were responses to BF’s letter of July 9.

4Nelumbium luteum, a rare water plant that grew in the Delaware below Philadelphia. Bartram was responding to a request that Dr. Fothergill had made of his cousin, Humphry Marshall, a year before; the Doctor had asked for roots rather than seeds because the latter germinated and then died. Darlington, op. cit., pp. 497–8.

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