To a Committee of the Library Company of Philadelphia
ALS: Pierpont Morgan Library
London, April 16. 1771
I received yours of Jan. 25: with a Catalogue of Books to be purchased for the Library Company. The Collection is making with all possible Expedition, but I fear will scarce be ready to go with this Ship. I beg you would not imagine it giving me Trouble when you send me the Commands of the Company. If I can execute them to their Satisfaction, it will, on the contrary, be a very great Pleasure to me: For I have many Reasons to wish well to the Institution.
I hope to send you, with the Books, an Estimate of the Cost of the European Transactions and the French Cyclopedia.2 I am, very respectfully, Gentlemen, Your most obedient humble Servant
P.S. Inclos’d is the Lib. Company’s Accompt, as it stands in my Books here.3
Messrs. Mich. Hillegas, Nicho. Waln, and R. Strettell Jones
2. He had asked for an estimate on the transactions from Priestley, whose long and detailed answer is the following document. If BF had also inquired about the famous Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une société de gens de letters... (17 vols., Paris, 1751–65), Priestley did not mention it.
3. He had received £150 and laid out £62 1s. 6d. for books, leaving a credit balance of £87 18s. 6d. Ledger, p. 19.