Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Isaac L. Winn, 22 January 1773

From Isaac L. Winn

MS:9 the Royal Society

Friday Morn. 22 Janry [1773]

Capt. Winn presents Respects to Dr. Franklin and sends Two Barrels of Apples from Mr. Theo. Bache1 and begs leave to add one to them.

In August last Capt. Winn took the Liberty of sending Dr. Franklin some Observations on the Aurora Borealis, to which he would add that on Saturday Evening the 16 Instt., as Capt. Winn came to Town the Aurora was so bright that he found a Croud of People in the Minories gazing at it, which they took to be the Effect of a great fire about Bishopsgate Street,2 the next day we had a hard Gale at SSW with Rain.3

[Endorsed:4] A further Note from the same Gentleman.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9In the same hand as Winn’s signed letter the previous August (above, XIX, 236–8), and hence presumably dictated.

1See below, BF to DF, Feb. 2, and BF’s acknowledgment to Theophylact Bache, Feb. 3.

2Bishopsgate St. is less than half a mile northwest of the Minories, which runs between Aldgate and the Tower.

3The thesis of Winn’s observations, in the 1772 letter just mentioned, was that the aurora presaged gales from the south or southwest. He here adds unusual corroboration, for auroral displays of such brilliance were rare in England; see Charles Hutton, A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary … (2 vols., London, 1796), I, 175. When the Royal Society published Winn’s 1772 letter, BF’s comment on it and a truncated version of this letter were added as a note: Phil. Trans., LXIV (1774), 132.

4In BF’s hand, presumably addressed to the Royal Society when he sent this letter with the material above, XIX, 236–9.

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