Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from George Logan, 15 July 1781

From George Logan

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada: July 15t: 1781

Dear Sir

I had the pleasure of writing to you last pr: Mr: Benezet:4 since that time no occurrence has taken place particularly meriting your attention. You however must be so well acquainted with every public transaction as to render my intruding on you with such accounts unnecessary. Thus much I may say, that the Brittish Arms are still sullied with the greatest barbarity & cruelty. The Southern States have suffered greatly for some months past, but we flatter ourselves, that our affairs in that quarter bear a better aspect at present. And a greater degree of cordiality appears among us, than on my first arrival.

With respect to private affairs, your Friends are in general well. Mr: H Roberts Mr: S: Rhodes & Dr: Bond frequently relate the pleasing anecdotes which occurred in your Company some twenty or thirty years ago: and long to see that day when after the fatigues of your Embassy they may welcome your safe return to your grateful Country.

When at leisure from the more important business of the Public; you will oblige me by giving me some directions respecting the Loganian Library. I wish it to answer the purpose of its institution, and should think no labour of mine too great to accomplish it. There are no other Trustees at present living but yourself, & my Uncle Logan.5

Pray what is become of that very worthy & ingenious Gentleman Dr. Ingenhouse? Should he be in Paris, please to remember my best Comps: to him & tell him that his publication on Air, is very much admired in this Country.6

I might farther intrude on your time at present, but am much engaged in procuring the means for the genteelest reception of those worthy few who have been banished from Charlestown. I have made an offer to accommodate two Families at Stenton and am just returned from waiting on Mr: J: Pemberton and some of the leading Men in the Quaker Society on this occasion. They will meet tomorrow, & I hope will do something worthy the profession [torn: they] make of universal charity to mankind—7

A general subscription is also opened at the Coffee-house by the Citizens in general.

I am with great respect Your much obliged Friend

George Logan

Addressed: A Son Excellence / Dr: Franklin / a / Paris

Endorsed: Geo Logan

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Logan’s most recent letter was probably lost at sea with John Benezet: Anthony Benezet to BF, July 12, above. His most recent extant one is that of Sept. 20, 1780: XXXIII, 314–15.

5His uncle was James Logan. The deceased trustees of the library that George Logan’s grandfather James Logan had assembled were William Logan, John Smith (husband of Hannah Logan Smith), Israel Pemberton Jr., William Allen, and Richard Peters. As the heir of William Logan George Logan served as librarian: V, 423–6; XXXIII, 315n.

6Jan Ingenhousz and Logan were both in Paris in the winter of 1779–80: XXXI, 140n, 302n. Logan is referring to Ingenhousz’s Experiments upon Vegetables, Discovering Their great Power of purifying the Common air in the Sunshine, and of Injuring it on the Shade and at Night: XXXI, 122n.

7Several Charleston, S.C., residents who had been taken prisoner when the British captured the city in May, 1780, arrived in Philadelphia on parole in July, 1781, in need of housing and assistance. Logan accommodated at his estate Col. Charles C. Pinckney, Pinckney’s younger brother Thomas, and Edward Rutledge, their brother-in-law. James Pemberton (XXXIII, 414n) and other Quakers were being asked by Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris to subscribe to a loan for the assistance of the S.C. refugees (for religious reasons the Quakers would not want to participate in the lottery Morris had proposed): Morris Papers, I, 375–7, 410–12; Frederick B. Tolles, George Logan of Philadelphia (New York, 1953), pp. 45–6; J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott, History of Philadelphia, 1609–1884 (3 vols., Philadelphia, 1884), I, 418.

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