Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Samuel Cooper, 25 February 1774

To Samuel Cooper

ALS: British Museum

London, Feb. 25. 1774

Dear Sir,

I thank you much for your respected Favours of Nov. 10. Dec. 17. and 20. and for the satisfactory Intelligence they contained.5

I condole with you most sincerely on your great Loss.6

I have written a pretty full Account to the Speaker of the Treatment their Petition and their Agent have received here. My Letter went in Symes,7 and probably you may have seen it before this can reach you, therefore, and because I have a little Disorder in my Eyes at present, I do not repeat any part of it to you, nor can I well send a Copy to him.

You can have no Conception of the Rage the ministerial People have been in with me, on Account of my Transmitting those Letters. It is quite incomprehensible! If they had been wise, they might have made a good Use of the Discovery, by agreeing to lay the Blame of our Differences on those from whom by those Letters it appear’d to have arisen; and by a Change of Measures, which would then have appear’d natural, restor’d the Harmony between the two Countries. But—

I send directed to you, a Set of the late French Edition of my Philosophical Papers. There are in it several Pieces not in the English. When you have look’d them over, please to give them to Mr. Winthrop for the College Library.8 I am ever, Dear Sir, Yours most affectionately

B Franklin

Revd Dr Cooper

Addressed: To / The Reverend Saml Cooper, D.D. / Boston

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5The Dec. 20 letter has disappeared; the others are above, XX, 480–2, 500–5. The detailed account of the Tea Party in that of Dec. 17 was “satisfactory” in the sense of fully explanatory.

6It must have been mentioned in the missing letter. His daughter Judith, the wife of Gabriel Johonnot, a local merchant, had died in Boston on Dec. 11; Frederick Tuckerman, Thomas Cooper of Boston and His Descendants (Boston, 1890), p. 7.

7The letter of Feb. 15. Ebenezer Symmes, after one false start, sailed in the Mary Anne on March 3 and reached Boston on April 21. London Chron., March 1–3, 3–5, 1774; Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., XV (1877), 351.

8The set was the two volumes of the Œuvres, for which see above, XX, 423; Harvard’s acknowledgment of the gift is below, May 31.

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