Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Galloway, [November? 1772]: extract

To Joseph Galloway

Extract: minutes of the American Philosophical Society

[November?1 1772]

I must now beg Leave to recommend to your Society Baron de Kliengstadt2 of Petersburg who has lately travelled thro’ England to collect Improvements in Husbandry &c. Being acquainted with him I took the Liberty of requesting his Care of our Book directed to the Academy of Sciences at Petersburg and I gave it to him open as he expressed a Curiosity to read it. He was so pleased with it and conceived so high an Opinion of the Society that he desired the Honor, as he politely expressed it, of being a Member, offered to correspond with the Society and send them from Time to Time any Information, Seeds or other things they might want from Russia.3

1Perhaps earlier but not later, for the letter was acted upon in Philadelphia in mid-January, 1773.

2Timotheus Marzahn von Klingstädt (1710–86) was termed in the APS minutes “Counsellor of State to the Empress of Russia, Member of the Commission of the Law, of the Oeconomical Society at Petersburg &c.” He was both a legal and an agricultural expert. For a number of years he served in judicial and administrative offices, until dismissed in 1771; he then embarked on his travels. He was a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a founder of the Free Economic Society and of its transactions, and he wrote extensively on commerce and husbandry. Christian G. Jöcher, Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexicon … (11 vols., Leipzig, 1750–1897), VII, 508–9; Ruskii biograficheskii slovar … (25 vols., St. Petersburg, 1896–1918), VIII, 741.

3Klingstädt was elected on Jan. 15, 1773 (at the meeting when this recommendation was read), in company with three of BF’s old friends: Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, Dr. Alexander Small, and the Rev. Thomas Coombe. APS MS minutes.

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