The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3


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The present edition is the result of a personal examination of all the extant documents thereunto appertaining in Europe and America, accessible to the editor. No time or expense has been spared to discover the whereabouts of Franklin's manuscripts and to secure accurate and literal transcripts thereof. Many manuscripts have been discovered since Mr. Bigelow's edition went to press in In the University of Pennsylvania alone there is a collection of more than eight hundred of Franklin's private papers, which was brought to light in , and has never been seen until now by any editor.

The American Philosophical Society is the depositary of the most valuable portion of Franklin's manuscripts. It is an immense collection. The stoutest heart might well be appalled by the volume and range of those thirteen thousand documents, comprising a correspondence carried on in nine languages with all the world, and dealing with every theory of philosophy and every scheme of politics familiar and unfamiliar in the eighteenth century.

For the first time they have now been studied minutely, and every sentence subjected to careful examination. I have pursued the quest after Franklin holographs in England, France, Germany, Austria, and Italy, and I be- lieve I have examined nearly every document that is known to exist in Europe and America. Every document here reprinted has been copied faithfully from the original; every point, capital letter, and eccentricity of spelling being loyally preserved. This accords with the requirements of modern historical research, and corresponds to Franklin's own feeling and desire.

He wrote to the printer Woodfall, enclosing a contribution to his paper, asking him to take care that the compositor observed "strictly the Italicking, Capitalling and Pointing. Printing such a piece all in one even small character, seems to me like repeating one of Whitefield's sermons in the monotony of a school boy. Some of these errors are wilful, others the result of carelessness; most of them represent important alterations of language, perversions of meaning, and omissions of necessary details. Many letters hitherto marked as "incomplete," "mutilated," etc.

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Letters have been carelessly assigned to persons to whom they were never addressed, and their authorship has been ascribed to persons by whom they were never written. A thorough examination of the originals has resulted in the correction of many of these errors, and the determination of the history of letters that have hitherto been regarded as doubtful.

He rounded out his ten volumes by the insertion of letters addressed to Franklin, whereof had not previously been printed. Bigelow published of Franklin's manuscripts, whereof were not printed by Sparks. His allotted space permitted him to include only letters to Franklin, whereof all but 21 are to be found in Sparks. In the present edition are letters and 40 articles not previously printed by any editor, all of which are from the pen of Franklin. Some of the best of his writings are to be found in the eighteenth-century newspapers, where appar- ently no thorough search has hitherto been made for them.

For the first time in any edition the "Dogood Papers" are here reprinted from the Courant.

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They are the earliest of young Franklin's com- positions and highly interesting; they show how early his mind was bent in the direction it followed through life, and how early he acquired the fluency and precision of his literary style. I have printed several characteristic essays from the Penn- sylvania Gazette which have escaped the notice of other editors, and certain political papers from the Pennsylvania Chronicle which Franklin himself recorded as worthy of preservation.

Nearly all the prefaces to "Poor Richard's Almanac" have been reprinted because they best show the qualities of Franklin's style. An early "memorial" in Franklin's handwriting , an autograph report made by him of PREFACE xi Pitt's speech upon the Stamp Act, and many letters of great scientific interest and political importance are for the first time here printed. The letters which I have published from other writers to Franklin have been mainly chosen for their relation to letters from Franklin that appear elsewhere in the text.

Certain others are, in nearly every case, of unusual historical value, not elsewhere published. I would call particular attention to the letters from Benjamin Vaughan and David Hartley, two of Franklin's English friends who kept him informed as to the policy of parties and the trending of public opinion in England during the Revolutionary period.

The extraordinary letter of John Paul Jones March 6, I have printed in full, although it is of great length, because of its remarkable interest, and because it exhibits the confidence that Jones reposed in Franklin and illustrates the reverential regard in which he held him. Letters written in French are reprinted in that language; those in Latin, Italian, German, and Spanish are translated. It has been possible to include much new matter by the exclusion of a few slight unmeritable essays, and the rejec- tion of certain works which Franklin declared he did not write.

In their zeal for the fame of Franklin, his editors have too hastily ascribed to him works which are now known to be by other hands. I have ignored the coarse Rabelaisian humour of the letter to The Academy of Brussels, though it excited the laughter of a Spanish grandee and won the approval of an English scientist. In common with cer- tain other bagatelles, which have occasionally crept into the twilight of furtive and surreptitious publication, this letter was never intended for any other career than circulation among the author's private friends.

I have omitted the voluminous "Historical Review of Pennsylvania" because Franklin assured Hume that it was not of his writing; but I have included the Canada pamphlet because I have found the problem of its authorship so difficult, and the question of the relative shares of Franklin and Jackson so intricate, that I am quite unable to unloose its Gordian knot. A serious scholastic defect in previous editions is the lack of any indication as to the places where the originals of the printed documents are to be found. In the present edition I have invariably named in each case the collection, public or private, which is the home of every manuscript that I have examined, and of every one that I have been able to trace.

I have tried to be brief and sparing in annotation, bearing in mind the sarcasm of John Quincy Adams concerning one of my predecessors, that he had impoverished his edition with his notes. The completion of this long and laborious task would have been impossible but for the cordial and unstinted assistance of many Franklinians, to whom the editor is under heavy obligations.

More is their due than more than all can pay. Chief of all stands Dr. Minis Hays, the Librarian of The American Philo- sophical Society, from whom came the first suggestion of this undertaking, and who has never failed to further its progress by encouragement and fruitful suggestion. It is due to his pride in The Philosophical Society's possession of the Franklin papers, and to his urgent enthusiasm and unsleeping care, that they have been admirably classified and calendared and made easily available to scholars. Worthington C. Ford, Chief of the Division of Manu- scripts of the Library of Congress, has cheerfully responded to numberless calls upon his limited time and illimitable knowledge.

He holds it a vice in his goodness not to do more than he is requested, and I am beholden to him for many kindnesses, without which this work would be shorn of some of its fairest additions. The collection of Franklin papers recently acquired by the Library of the University of Pennsylvania was promptly and generously placed at my service.

Never before had editorial eyes rested upon these valuable and voluminous historical records. For this opportunity I gladly thank Dr. Weir Mitchell, who procured the collection, and whose kindness is unending, and Dr. Morris Jastrow, the learned Librarian of the University. In Europe I am under especial obligations to Mr. Buxton-Forman, C. Although whole libraries of Franklin's papers are con- tained in the great public collections of two continents, they are far from comprising all the products of that fertile and most busy pen.

They lie like "scattered sedge afloat," dispersed far and wide over the world, and found at times in most unlikely places. Many owners of such papers have admitted me to their private collections and permitted copies to be made for publication. The family of the late Alex- ander Biddle, Esq. For permission to publish some of these, I am greatly indebted to Mr.

Louis A. Biddle and Miss Marion Biddle. The important correspondence of Franklin with Peter Collinson has but recently been discovered, and is in the possession of Mr. Pierpont Morgan. Twelve letters throwing much light on the beginnings of electrical study, and illustrating the attitude of Franklin toward the pro- prietary government, are here printed.

Leiter, who owns the valuable correspondence of Franklin and David Hartley, M. His collections of materials for the illustration of the history of Pennsylvania are unrivalled, and he withheld from me nothing that would add more "feathers to my wings. Hewson Bradford. These letters had all appeared in print, but I found that Sparks had dealt with them with his unfortunate inaccuracy, and I have been able, by careful collation, to replace omitted paragraphs, and to restore to the letters characteristic personal touches which Sparks had unjustifiably suppressed as "beneath the dignity of history.

Charles Francis Adams, in addition to many helpful courtesies in Boston, opened to me the great manuscript collections of "the House of Adams," and enabled me to verify the correspondence between Franklin and John Adams. I gladly thank Dr. Thomas F. Davies, in In numerous private autograph collections I found inter- esting letters which sometimes cleared up doubtful passages in Franklin's career. I may particularly mention the col- lections of Mr. Simon Gratz, of Philadelphia; Mr. William F. Have- meyer and Mr.

Adrian H. Joline, of New York; and Mr. John Boyd Thacher, of Albany. The great kindness of strangers is a notable encourage- ment to him who is engaged in any arduous enterprise. Mossant, Conseiller Ge'ne'ral, Bourg-de-Pe'age, France, entrusted to the Atlantic and to me the original of a highly characteristic letter from Franklin to Mr. Although such abundant stores of Franklin's papers exist, much, I fear, has been for ever lost. I have sought in vain to trace the letters that Franklin wrote to three of his most intimate and faithful correspondents: Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St.

Archdeacon Thomas, of Llandrinio Rectory, kindly as- sisted me in my quest for the Shipley correspondence.

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The present representative of the bishop, Mrs. Rowley Conway, of Bodrhyddon, knows nothing of the fate of the papers, and I have been unable to obtain any information concerning them. Sir Edward Newenham and Franklin were close friends. They exchanged gifts and letters. Franklin sent Newen- ham a bust of himself, and Newenham sent Franklin a Galway car and harness.

Franklin tried to have Newen- ham's son appointed to the diplomatic service of the United States. Newenham was passionately devoted to the Ameri- can cause. Upon hearing of the death of Montgomery at Quebec, he appeared in Parliament dressed in deep mourn- ing. He wrote numerous political tracts under the names 'Brutus,' ' Junius,' and 'Leonidas. Newenham, of the Royal Fusiliers, tells me that he fears Sir Edward's papers have been destroyed for family reasons.

The loss of Franklin's letters to Ingenhousz is particu- larly to be deplored. Ingenhousz was an eminent scientist, a physician of great distinction, and enjoyed the confidence of the Empress Maria Theresa and of Joseph II. He cor- responded with Franklin upon questions of medicine, natural history, and electricity, and through him Franklin influenced to some extent the political opinion of Austria. Nearly a hundred letters from him to Franklin exist, covering a wide range of subjects, and exciting eager curiosity to see Franklin's replies.

Of such replies only fifteen have been published, and all of them from rough drafts in The American Philo- sophical Society or Library of Congress. I inquired of Dr.

Winter, Direktor des Haus-Hof- und Staats-archiv, Vienna, and upon hear- ing nothing of the letters in Germany or Austria, I despaired of discovering them, when I unexpectedly learned that Dr. Julius Wiesner, of Vienna, the celebrated botanist, was writing a book upon Ingenhousz and his relation to Franklin. I immediately entered into correspondence with Dr. Wiesner, and learned that Ingenhousz's papers had been sold at auction sixty years ago. A portion of them became the property of Dr.

Oskar, Freiherr von Mitis, in Vienna, but there were no Franklin letters among them. In another inter- esting little bundle of Ingenhousz's letters was sold by Gil- hofer and Ranschburg, in Vienna. For all that is new in this work concerning the correspondence and the relation between Franklin and Ingenhousz, I am indebted to Dr.

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Julius Wiesner and to Baron von Mitis. I tried to discover the letters that must have passed be- tween Franklin and Bentley, the partner of Wedgwood. Not one of them is known to exist. Wedgwood, Esq. John Jeffries were destroyed in the fire that burnt his mansion in Boston in ; and the same fate befell the Franklin letters among the papers which Noble Wymberley Jones had saved from the Revolution, when the flames destroyed his house in I am much indebted to the Hopkinson family for a sight of their family papers, which are now carefully and wisely guarded ; to Dr.

Joy Jeffries, for information concerning his grandfather's diary and life in Europe; and to Mr. DeRenne, descendant of N. Jones, for a letter from Jones to Franklin on the political situation in Georgia. I sought to verify the correspondence with Lord Kames, but was told by H. Home-Drummond, Esq.


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Little of Franklin's correspondence with scientific men can now be recovered. He must have written many letters to Erasmus Darwin, but they are not to be found in the collection of the latter' s papers kept at Newnham Grange, Cambridge; and Professor George H. Darwin thinks "they must have been removed by some one long ago, as they would otherwise surely be there.

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Alexander S. Herschel could find at Slough only a copy of the letter written by his grandfather, Sir William Herschel, to Franklin, February 18, Herschel says in his letter to me: "I should add that among the Herschel Papers here in preservation hardly a single autograph or copied letter from other savants to grandfather are to be found; as if they had all been taken with her to Hanover, perhaps, by Miss C.

Herschel, or were otherwise distributed, perhaps, during the lifetimes of Sir W. It is difficult to explain how so little, or hardly any vestige should remain of what must, in a long lapse of years, have at last become quite a bulky correspondence! Du Pont, copies of all their correspondence. I have attempted in this volume to review and to describe all the writings of Franklin. To perform it to full satisfaction requires the robust scholarship of those sons of Anak, who before these lesser days of the specialist took all knowledge to be their portion.

I believe that no attempt has ever been made to take a comprehensive survey and estimate of Franklin's work, but the recent scientific essays of Arthur Schuster, J. Thomson, Sir Oliver Lodge, and William Garnett have shown how far Franklin "dipt into the future," and "saw the vision of the world and all the wonder that would be.

There remains to me the pleasure of expressing my deep obligation to Mr. John Bigelow, Mr. Richard Garnett, C. Henry Vignaud, M. Novati, Count Stanislaus Tarnowski, M. Rosengarten, Dr. Samuel A. Green, Mr. Lindsay Swift, Mr. John W. Jordan, Mr. Wilberforce Eames, Mr. James G. Barawell, Mr. Bunford Samuel, Mr.

Howard C. Myers, Dr. Keller, Dr. Warner, Mr. Morgan, J. Pearson and Company, M. Noel Charavay, Mr. Joseph F. Sabin, and Mr. Frank T. S American Philosophical Society. M British Museum. N Bibliotheque Nationale. W Department of State, Washington. H Harvard University. C Library of Congress. L Lenox Library. Lans Lansdowne House. S Massachusetts Historical Society. C Private Collection. S Pennsylvania Historical Society. O Public Record Office. Y Yale University.

B Bigelow. F Benjamin Franklin. S Sparks. V Benjamin Vaughan. Franklin's Mss. He made a rough draft of every letter that he wrote ; he then made a clean copy to send away, and often retained a letter-press copy. To indicate the state of the docu- ment, the following abbreviations are used : d. Franklin's Draft Scheme of the Autobiography. He had the mag- pie trait of hoarding things. Every letter written to him, every rough draft and copy of a letter written by him, every visiting card, and every invitation to dinner or to a Masonic lodge meeting was saved and cherished, and went to swell the tremendous aggregate of his collec- tion of papers.

He jealously guarded these souvenirs, for he was thoroughly aware of their importance to the future historian of America. No public man has ever more completely revealed himself or more copiously recorded the march of events in his time. His care in this respect is at once the delight and the despair of his biographer.

It was one of the chief regrets of his life that a chest of private papers which he left with Mr. Joseph Galloway when he went to France in was broken open and plundered. Benjamin Vaughan told him "with infinite concern" that Galloway had written to him that "the rebels have got at your papers and destroyed them. Certain it is that Mr.

Bache hurried out to Trevose, Joseph Galloway's country seat near Philadelphia, and gathered up the loose and scattered leaves and put such of them as could be found into the chest, and brought the poor remnant back to VOL. By this act of vandalism the papers relating to the earliest period of Franklin's life were irretrievably lost.

Eight letter-books were in the chest containing the drafts of Franklin's correspondence while in England, from to , and from to ; six of these were lost and have never been recovered. Although he set a high value upon his papers, and was anxious for their preservation, he was disorderly in the care of them. They lay loosely about him. He declares in his Autobiography that he found order with regard to places for things, papers, etc. He was reticent where silence was a virtue, and wary and cautious where prudence was required. No man could better keep his own counsel.

The most indefatigable inquiry has failed to ascertain the source from which he obtained the Hutchinson Letters, or to discover who was the mother of his son or of his grandson. Enemies were in his household. Emissaries of Lord North and Stormont dogged his footsteps, peered over his shoulder, and pried into his papers; but nothing was found or quoted that derogated from his dignity or honour.

Major Thornton and the mysterious "Edwards" furtively copied his letters, which lay temptingly open and astray upon his table. But with all their strategy and cunning watchfulness they failed to discover one impor- tant political secret or to confound one of Franklin's subtle plans. By his will he bequeathed all his manuscripts and papers to William Temple Franklin, his grandson, who had acted as his secretary in Paris, and who was very dear to him. He seems to have entertained an exaggerated notion of Temple's abilities, and to have believed him capable of properly sort- ing, arranging, and editing these multitudinous papers and giving them permanent literary form.

But Temple Franklin had neither literary faculty or historic sense; he was indo- lent and timid, and aghast at the magnitude of the task before him. He culled out what he imagined to be the most important of the manuscripts, and carried them to London with the apparent intention of devoting himself to his editorial task. The papers left by him in Philadelphia, by far the greater part of the whole collection, he bequeathed to his friend George Fox, from whose son, Charles P.

The announcement of the intention to make the society the custodian of these historical documents was made in a letter from Charles P. Franklin, bequeathed by William T. Franklin, Esq. These volumes contain papers from to , scanty for the earlier and voluminous for the later years. Letters to Dr.


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Franklin, Franklin, without date. Franklin, anonymous and without date. Drafts and copies of letters from Dr. Letters from Dr. Franklin to his wife, Letters to various persons, Papers on subjects of science and politics. Papers by Dr. Franklin on various subjects. Poetry and verses. Miscellaneous papers, Georgia papers, Miscellaneous papers without date. Memorials, petitions, etc.

Unnumbered Vol. Fragments and torn letters. Scraps, memorials, etc. Franklin papers : in France Letters from Franklin. Franklin papers: in France Letters to Franklin. Franklin papers : in France Invitations, cards. Franklin papers : in France Court, marriage, funeral and meeting notices, invitations.

Franklin papers: in France Oaths of allegiance, paroles, bonds of privateers, passports. Franklin papers : in France Promissory notes, public loans and accounts. Franklin papers: in France Applications for appointments in army and navy. Franklin papers: in France Diplomatic, naval matters, military stores, indemnity. Franklin papers : in France Prisoners' assistance, to raise troops, for civil appointments, to settle in America, miscel- laneous.

Franklin papers : in France Household and per- sonal accounts. Franklin papers : in France Miscellaneous letters in German. Franklin papers: in England Notices, invita- tions, visiting cards, notes, business cards. Franklin papers : Wills, powers of attorney, in- dentures, bonds, agreements, notes, memoranda, bills, Franklin papers: Bills , drafts, accounts, checks, memoranda, bills of lading, public accounts.

Certified acts of Congress, Several volumes of miscellaneous account-books. Eight volumes of letters to William Temple Franklin: Vols. The manuscripts taken abroad by Temple Franklin have had an interesting history. James's Street, London. For the next seventeen years nothing is known of their history.

The "inconsolable widow," whose grief, as she testified upon her husband's monument in Pere-lachaise, would end only with her life, married again in , and continued to live with her second husband, Jean X Ernest Etienne Montluc de la Riviere, at Etampes, until her death in It is not known what she did with the papers ; but in they were found "loosely bundled up" on the top shelf of a tailor's shop in St. James's Street, where Temple Franklin had lodged. Many of the papers had doubtless been destroyed, and others were being cut into patterns at the time of the discovery.

The finder ineffectually offered them for sale for ten or eleven years. They were refused by the British Museum and declined by Lord Palmerston. In a purchaser was found in Henry Stevens of Vermont, the well-known bibliophile, to whom the owner was recom- mended by Abbott Lawrence. Stevens sorted, repaired, and arranged the papers, gave again an air of respectability to their ragged disorder, and sold them to the United States for seven thousand pounds. They were placed in the Library of the State Department, and are now, with the exception of the Craven Street Letter Book, the Petition to the King, and some portions of the diplomatic corre- spondence, in the Manuscript Department of the Library of Congress.

This collection, which bears the name of Henry Stevens, is in 14 folio volumes, containing papers. It comprises: i. Franklin's original manuscripts; his essays, miscel- lanies, correspondence, bagatelles, etc. His journals and memoranda for the Autobiography.

The original correspondence with the American government. The Original Petition of the Congress to the King, October, , signed in duplicate by all the fifty members of the Continental Congress. This Petition was signed by the Members in two copies. Both were sent, by different ships, to Franklin. One he kept, the other he presented to the Minister for the King.

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The King's copy is now in the Public Record Office. Correspondence with David Hartley, chiefly con- cerning the exchange of prisoners; the Hutchinson Papers Correspondence, etc. Records and Correspondence of the Commissioners on the part of England to negotiate the Treaty of Peace, together with a complete transcript of Oswald's Journal, the original of which is in the Lansdowne Collection.

The Craven Street Letter Book, containing the drafts of important letters written by Franklin during his residence in London The originals of many of the letters and articles published by W. Franklin are missing from this collection. It is impossible to determine their fate. After the bulk of them had been delivered a portion still remained for many years in a garret over the stable at Champlost, the home of the Fox family.

Miss Fox, who took small interest in the papers, determined to sell them to the paper mills in order to secure a new carpet for the kitchen. About Mrs. Holbrook, who lived in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, was visiting Miss Fox and saw these papers carried out. She remonstrated, and they were brought back into the house all but one unlucky barrel which had already gone to the mill. Miss Fox selected a number of her own family letters and gave the rest a generous trunk full to Mrs.

From her they descended to her son George O. Holbrook, from whom they were purchased in , through the efforts of Dr. Weir Mitchell, and deposited in the Library of the University of Pennsylvania. This collection, which no editor of Franklin or student of American history has hitherto examined, consists of more than documents, ranging from Franklin's draft of an essay on the British plantations in America, in , down to his latest correspondence.

Benjamin Franklin Perry to his wife. Reminiscences of public men, by ex-Gov. Address delivered before the literary societies of Erskine college, Abbeville district, S. Biographical sketches of eminent American statesmen, with speeches, addresses and letters,. Address delivered before the literary societies of Erskine College, Abbeville district, S. Reminiscences of public men, with speeches and addresses. Benjamin F. Perry, South Carolina unionist. Perry, South Carolina unionist,.

Letters of my father to my mother, beginning with those written during their engagement, with extracts from his journal, giving description of his wife and of himself;. Skip to main Skip to similar items. We see that javascript is disabled or not supported by your browser - javascript is needed for important actions on the site. Read more. What's New - Home - Login. School Donation Program In Memory of How To Swap Books?

Chronological List. Alphabetical List. Available Only List. Stueber] Paperback. III] Paperback.

The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3 The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3
The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3 The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3
The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3 The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3
The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3 The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3
The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3 The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3
The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3 The writings of Benjamin Franklin V3

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