Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Price, 22 December 1780

From Richard Price

L: American Philosophical Society

Decr. 22 1780

Dear Sir

I have received with particular pleasure your letter by Dr H——2 and I cannot help returning by him a few lines to thank you for remembering me and to express the satisfaction with which I have heard, that you are recover’d from a fit of the gout which you think has been of service to you— May your life be preserved to do good to the world, & to see the end of the present struggle. I cannot describe to you the feelings with which I view the progress of it. God grant that the issue may prove favourable to public liberty & the general rights of mankind— You cannot imagine how much I have been lately abused & threatened. My enemies by their charges against me make me of much more consequence than I am.— I feel easy.— There is nothing in the conduct of my life that I reflect upon with more satisfaction than the part I have taken in the dispute with A—— a and the endeavours I have used to warn & serve my country, & to communicate right sentiments of Government and civil & religious liberty— On the subject of Toleration I have writ a good deal; but the friend who told you that I had published on this subject was mistaken—3 When you see Mr. T——t deliver my best respects to him & my thanks for a kind letter with which he has lately obliged & honoured me—4 Dr. P—— lives at Bir——m and has lately been invited to preach in the afternoon to a congregation there.— His health is better, but he was last week alarmed by some Symptoms of a return of his bilious disorder. He has just finished another volume upon air—5 With the greatest respect & affection I am, my dear Friend, ever yours—

Dr. Fothergill is relapsed into the disorder (a suppression of urine) which brought him to the brink of the grave last winter, & lies now dangerously ill.—6 I shall take care, that the letter to Mr. J——s7 be safely deliver’d. He is now in the country.

The war spreads— What will become of us?—

Endorsed: From Dr Price

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2This may be William Hamilton, who previously had carried correspondence to BF from England: XXIX, 99; XXXII, 301, 380. He continued to serve in that role: Price to BF, Nov. 18, 1782 (APS). The letter he delivered was probably BF’s of Nov. 27, above.

3See XXXIII, 389.

4The baron de Turgot wrote Price on Aug. 22 to offer thanks for the copy of his pamphlet on population (XXXIII, 389n) that BF had passed on. The letter was not sent until Oct. 9: W. Bernard Peach and D.O. Thomas, eds., The Correspondence of Richard Price (3 vols., Durham, N.C., and Cardiff, 1983–94), II, 68–9.

5See the immediately preceding document.

6Fothergill died on Dec. 26; see Benjamin Waterhouse’s letter of Jan. 10, below.

7Quite possibly William Jones, whom Price wrote to BF in October that he had seen: XXXIII, 389.

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