Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Smith, 3 May 1771

From William Smith

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. May 3d. 1771


Agreeable to the Directions of our Philosophical Society, I have sent in a small Box by Faulkner, (directed to you) 11 Copies of the 1st. Vol. of the Transactions of the said Society; which they request you, as their President, to deliver as they are directed viz 1 Copy to the Royal Society; Do. Royal College of Physicians; Society of Arts &c. British Musaeum; Dr. Fothergill; the Astronomer Royal; Sir George Saville Bart. Mr. Ferguson; Mr. Nairne; and Mr. Coombe.7 There is only one Copy for yourself; but the small Box would hold no more. You will however receive another Box with Copies for the Learned Societies abroad, amounting to more than a Dozen in Number as soon as we can draw up the Letters intended to accompany them; some of which are to be in French, and some in Latin. In that Box there will be 2 or 3 Copies for you to give such of your friends, as you may think wish well to our infant Undertaking and will not be too critically severe on these our first Essays.

I should be glad the Astronomer Royal had his assoon as convenient. I hope you will have no Difficulty in getting the Books Landed, as they are directed, and appear to be Presents and not for Sale. I am Sir Your most obedient humble Servant

William Smith

Dr Franklin

Addressed: To / Dr. Benjamin Franklin / in Craven Street / London

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Provost Smith, BF’s old enemy, was acting in his capacity as a secretary of the APS. The first volume of its Trans. had been published in early March (Pa. Gaz., March 14); it listed in the membership all the individuals mentioned except the Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne, and BF’s young friend Thomas Coombe, who presumably received a copy because his father was a member. Fothergill, Maskelyne, and Nairne need no introduction; for Savile see above, XI, 480 n, and XIII, 145 n; and for James Ferguson VIII, 216 n, and XIV, 144 n.

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