Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Ingenhousz, 23 June 1783

From Ingenhousz

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Vienna juin 23 1783.

Dear Friend

This is only to accompany the adjoin’d lettre of mr. Weinbrenner, who, as you see, does not loose time to make use of your kind proposition of giving some introductory letters to his agent, who is mr. Donath. This gentleman will set out in a few weeks for Philadelphia New york & Boston, where he will spend two years. He will carry with him various productions of this Country. I hope you will as soon, as Convenient for you, grant the request of Mr. Weinbrenner.1

Your original lettre with the medal inclosed is not yet come to hand,2 neither the Philadelphia Almanach, you was so good as to send me a year ago.3

The Cast of my profil, I send you, is made in the usual manner of gypse or plaster of Paris; which being dryed is smeared over with parchment glue or glue of ising glas warmed. When this kind of varnish is thereabout dry, the whol is covered, by means of a very fine brush or pencil, which silver dust, called silver bronze, to be got every where in Colour Shops. The parts of the cast thus finish’d, which aught to be polishd, are rubbed with a polish’d piece of steel.

Your advise about the statuary was thankfully recieved and much approved of. I recieved at last from mr. le Begue the first 5 sheats of my book under the press at Paris. I did not find one Single typographical error in them.

I hope still to see you here with your grandson before you set out for your beloved America.

I am with the greatest estime Your most obedient Serv and affectionate friend

J. Ingen Housz

to Benj Franklin Passy

Endorsed: June 23. 83—

1Weinbrenner’s letter is missing, but see BF to Ingenhousz, May 16. Joseph Donath (1751–1829) arrived in Philadelphia in December, 1783, and lived there for the rest of his life. He initially brought with him samples of cloth but later imported shoes, boots, slippers, and Bohemian glass. In 1795 he supplied Thomas Jefferson with window glass for Monticello: John J. Maitland, “St. Mary’s Graveyard, Fourth and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia. Records and Extracts from Inscriptions on Tombstones,” American Catholic Hist. Soc. of Philadelphia Records, III (1888–91), 293; Hanns Schlitter, ed., Die Berichte des ersten Agenten Österreichs in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika Baron de Beelen-Bertholff … (Vienna, 1891), pp. 326, 327–8, 382, 525, 818; Jefferson Papers, XXVIII, 259, 284, 436, 469.

2According to his next letter, of Aug. 15, Ingenhousz received a copy of BF’s May 16 letter before the original arrived, enclosing the medal. The rest of the present letter largely addresses issues BF raised on May 16; see that letter and its annotation.

3In a letter he began writing in 1781, BF told Ingenhousz he was sending a German almanac. He did not finish the letter until June, 1782, and may not have enclosed it: XXXV, 547.

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