Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Morris, 10 July 1781

From Joseph Morris2

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. 10th. July 1781

Dear Friend

The Bearer Samuel Powel Griffitts is my great Nephew,3 who has studied Physick under Doctr: Kuhn4 of this City, much to his Credit and reputation, he has taken his Degrees in our University with applause, and great Satisfaction to his friends, and in order to compleat his knowledge in Physick &c. he has taken a Voyage to France, to vissit the Hospitals there, hopeing there-by to make further improvements in that Science, a Voyage to England, at this Juncture, for that purpose, not being so Eligible, for divers reasons, therefore have taken this freedom with my Old Friend, to recommend so worthy and promising a Native of our City, to his particular Notice, having a high opinion of the liberal sentiments he possesses, and from his natural good disposition, that whatever advice or instructions, thou mayst be pleasd to favor him with, in his pursuit of knowledge I am fully perswaded, it will not be thrown away upon him, but will be receiv’d with the highest Sentiments of gratitude, with this opinion of his goodness of heart, & desire of improvement, I please my self with his returning an Ornament to his Country, and a very usefull member in the Community at large—

I hope this meets my old friend in Health, and the great affairs of this World, squares with his Judgment, shou’d be exceedingly pleasd with a Line from him; we are here on all sides, anxious to hear the result, of this grand Congress in Europe,5 little politicians distract their minds about the event, my rest & trust is in a Supreeme power, who will center all things right, and here I have pitched my Tent, & take up my rest— I am thy very affect. Friend.

Jos Morris

Addressed: To / Doctr: Franklin / in Paris / by Doctr. Griffitts

Endorsed: Jos. Morris

Notation: 10 July 1781

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Morris, like BF, was one of the original directors of the Philadelphia Contributionship; he was also a longtime member of the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Hospital: IX, 274n. This is his only extant letter to BF.

3Griffitts (1759–1826) was a Quaker physician and philanthropist. He was the son of William and Abigail Powel Griffitts. Abigail’s mother was Mary Morris, who married Samuel Powel; her brother, Anthony Morris, was Joseph Morris’ father: Robert C. Moon, The Morris Family of Philadelphia … (3 vols., Philadelphia, 1898), I, 155, 158, 217, 273, 289; Samuel Rhoads to BF, July 14, below.

Griffitts received his bachelor of medicine from the University of the State of Pennsylvania. After completing his medical training in Europe he returned to Philadelphia, where he founded the Philadelphia dispensary and taught at the University of Pennsylvania: Lyman H. Butterfield, ed., Letters of Benjamin Rush (2 vols., Princeton, N.J., 1951), I, 432n.

4Probably Dr. Adam Kuhn (1741–1817), who was professor of botany and materia medica at the College of Philadelphia: XVIII, 164n; DAB.

5The proposed Austro-Russian peace conference.

Index Entries