Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Alexander Small, 22 July 1783

From Alexander Small

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London July 22d 1783

Dear Sir

Tho’ we can no longer call ourselves Fellow Subjects of the Same Sovereign, yet I hope we shall never forget that we are Fellow Labourers in the Service of Humanity. This gives a right to claim reciprocaly Good-offices. Now that you have in some degree settled the various Interests of great Empires, I hope you will find time to exert Yourself in the Service of Humanity; and consider the Service of the Individuals who compose Empires. Do not You think that the greatest Calamity the Garrison of st Philips Suffered arose from their Inattention to preserve a free Current of Air thro’ their Subterranean Lodgements?5 While greater Matters claimed Your attention, you think you should Stand accquitted for the Neglect of lesser Subjects. There is a time for all things.

This Letter will probably be delivered to you by Patrick Wilkie Esqr, who goes Consul to Alicant, and intends to take Paris in his way. I can promise You that if you have at any time business to transact there, he will puctually and honestly execute the Same: and I told him, that when you go to Your Terrestrial Paradice, the promised Seat of Liberty, Peace and Plenty, you will be equally ready to Serve him. May You enjoy Health and that expected Peace prays Dear Sir Your Faithful and most humble Servant

Alexr Small

Mr Baldwin flatters me with the hopes of seeing you here glad that the remembrance of a most agreable Fair-One yet dwells with you, and that you wish to touch her Sweet Lips.6 Would to God! You would give the Kiss of Peace to all the Natives of your Country. This, on tryal, would be found to be the Soundest Policy.

Dr Franklin

Notation: Alexr. Small 22 Juillet 1783.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Scurvy had decimated the British troops garrisoned at Fort St. Philip on the island of Minorca in early 1782, forcing them to surrender to the Spanish: XXXVI, 604n; Mackesy, War for America, p. 438. Small had earlier served as an army surgeon on Minorca, where he probably wrote “Of Ventilation,” incorporating some of BF’s observations: XXIII, 486–91.

6BF must have responded to Baldwin’s letter of Feb. 18 conveying his wife’s greetings: XXXIX, 183–5.

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