Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Priestley, 2 June 1770

From Joseph Priestley

ALS: Massachusetts Historical Society

Leeds. 2 June 1770.

Dear Sir

I inclose a few copies of my Proposals, with the catalogues much inlarged.8 I therefore beg you would destroy the former, and dispose of these as you shall think most conducive to the design. I shall send a greater number soon to Mr. Johnson,9 from whom you may have whatever you want. In the mean time, I am obliged to take the liberty to inclose a small parcel for him in a cover to you. I hope you received Beccaria1 safe. I am Dear Sir Yours sincerely

J Priestley

Addressed: To / Doctor Franklin / at Mrs Stevenson’s / in Craven Street in the Strand / London.

Endorsed: Dr Priestly May 1770

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Priestley was intending to expand his History and Present State of Electricity into a comprehensive study of the development of experimental philosophy. He had just drafted his proposals for this work, and made lists (“catalogues”) of the books that he had and was going to need for the purpose. Frederick W. Gibbs, Joseph Priestley, Adventurer in Science and Champion of Truth ([London], 1965), pp. 50–3; Robert E. Schofield, ed., A Scientific Autobiography of Joseph Priestley (Cambridge, Mass., and London, [1966]), pp. 75–9. BF had presumably received earlier drafts, which these were to replace.

9Joseph Johnson, the London bookseller and publisher, for whom see above, XI, 258 n.

1Presumably the copy of Beccaria’s Dell’ elettricismo artificiale e naturale (Turin, 1753) which BF had sent to Priestley when the latter was working on his History and Present State of Electricity. See above, XIII, 246, 421.

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