Benjamin Franklin Papers

Franklin’s List of Books Lent, November 1778

Franklin’s List of Books Lent2

AD: American Philosophical Society

Nov. 1778

Books lent

To Mr Le Roy, Adair on Heat3

Count. Montfort Priestly on Education4

Abbé de la Roche two Geneva Pamphlets5

Swedish Ambassador—Carver’s Travels6

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2On the last page of his Cash Book (Account XVI, XXVI, 3), BF began to keep a record of the books he was loaning to friends. Despite the November, 1778, heading, later publication dates of some of the works listed there suggest that BF made the entries at various times after 1778. Information on some of the titles in this list was kindly provided by Edwin Wolf 2nd.

3To his friend Jean-Baptiste Le Roy BF apparently loaned Adair Crawford’s Experiments and Observations on Animal Heat, and the Inflammation of Combustible Bodies (London, 1779). For this physician and chemist (1748–95) see the DNB. BF’s copy of Crawford’s work is at the APS.

4Joseph Priestley’s most recent work, Miscellaneous Observations relating to Education (Bath and Bristol, 1778) had presumably been sent to BF in late 1778 or early 1779 (Benjamin Vaughan to WTF, Dec. 29, 1778, APS). For Count Julius Montfort, who later communicated with BF on educational plans (Oct. 19, 1779, APS), see Silas Deane’s letter of Feb. 7, below.

5BF apparently had trouble remembering what he had loaned to the Abbé de La Roche. He had first written, and then deleted, “What was it?” On the next line, he wrote, and deleted, “—Marat on Fire”. For Jean-Paul Marat see our annotation to Le Roy’s letter, printed under February 3.

The identity of the Geneva pamphlets is somewhat puzzling. One may have been Josias Simler’s De republica helvetiorum . . ., which BF had been sent by Rodolph Valltravers in January, 1778 (XXV, 243, 464, 477). The second may be “L’Etat présent du Gouvernement de Genève,” a manuscript copy of which is bound together with other pamphlets in a volume that has a table of contents in WTF’s hand. This book is at the Library Company of Philadelphia.

6At some time BF apparently loaned Jonathan Carver’s Travels through the Interior Parts of North America . . . (London, 1778) to Gustaf Philip, graf von Creutz (XXVII, 84n, 385, 552). In an undated letter the ambassador wrote that he wanted to have the work translated into French, and he asked to use the copy BF had loaned him. APS. The French edition, Voyage dans les parties intérieures de l’Amérique . . . (Paris, 1784), was translated from the third English edition (1781).

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