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by the meeting from men, who, but just before, were observed to stifle their disgust.
On the 17th instant there appeared a strong and pathetic appeal to the people, mostly of Franklin's own doing, and in the next weekly paper some quotations were inserted from Thomas Edmundson. On Saturday there was a meeting of one hundred persons, mostly tradesmen, in Chancellor's sail-loft, and Franklin, after having addressed them as the first movers in every useful undertaking, that had been projected for the good of the city, Library Company, Fire Companies, &c., pulled a draft of an intended Association out of his pocket and read it. All approved and offered to sign it.. “No,” says he, “let us not sign yet; let us offer it at least to the gentlemen, and, if they come into it, well and good, we shall be the better able to carry it into execution.” On this, all the better sort of the people met on Monday at the Coffee House, where Franklin produced his draft, and it was unanimously agreed, that several should be printed and signed at the new building the next night; which was accordingly done, and I am told by Mr. Franklin, that there will be a thousand hands to it before night.
I have given you a full relation of every thing that is come to my knowledge relating to this affair, having had no hand in it, neither privately nor publicly myself; but in justice to Mr. Allen I must tell you, that, when he first communicated the affair to me, which was before it was reduced to any settled form or plan, he told me, that Mr. Franklin and the other persons concerned desired I should be made acquainted with every step, since they had nothing in view but the security of their lives and properties, and thought they were at the same time doing the Proprietaries true service, in defending, the country by a volunteer association, which the legis..
lature had refused to do; and therefore they expected the countenance and assistance of the Proprietaries, and depended on me to make their regards to the Proprietors' family known to them in such a manner, as to induce them to believe the associators were heartily in their interest; and, as vast numbers would accede to them, it would be mightily for their advantage to encourage them by a generous supply of cannon and small arms.
In short, the scheme took its rise from the just fears and apprehensions, which all sorts of people were under for their lives and properties; and, though there may be at the bottom of it a personal antipathy to Quakers, who brought the country into this dilemma, yet they really desire to recommend themselves to the Proprietaries.
FROM JAMES LOGAN TO B. FRANKLIN.*
3 December, 1747. MY FRIEND B. FRANKLIN, I have expected to see thee here for several weeks, according to my son's information, with Euclid's titlepage printed, and my Mattaire's Lives of the Stephenses;
* James Logan, descended from an ancient family of Restalrig in Scotland, was born at Lurgan, in Ireland, 1674. His father was a man of great learning, and educated for the Scottish church; but, having been converted to the principles of the Quakers, he was, at the time of his son's birth, a teacher in a public school in that Society. At an early age James Logan became imbued with a love of letters and science, Before he was thirteen years old, he had made uncommon proficiency in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages. He soon afterwards acquired a taste for the mathematics, in which he became profoundly skilled, and which science seems to have been his favorite study through life. For a few years he had charge of a large Grammar School at Bristol, in England; but he afterwards engaged in commerce. Becoming acquainted with William Penn, he was induced by him to give up
but it is probable thy thoughts of thy new excellent project have in some measure diverted thee, to which I most heartily wish all possible success; of which, notwithstanding, I have some doubts, partly for want of arms for some of the common people, who may be willing to enlist, and for want of will in many others, as well of the Dutch as of our people, and both these for want of a militia act to compel them. Ever since I have had the power of thinking, I have clearly seen that government without arms is an inconsistency.
his plans of life, and accompany him as secretary on his second visit to Pennsylvania, in 1699.
Having acquired the entire confidence of the Proprietor, he was left by him in the charge of his private estate, and in the important offices of Provincial Secretary, Commissioner of Property, and Receiver-Genera). In the course of his life, he filled the places of Recorder of the City of Philadelphia, Presiding Judge of Common Pleas, Chief Justice of the Province, and President of the Council, in which last office he governed the Province for two years, from 1736 to 1738. He also had the entire management of the intercourse with the Indians. When William Penn left the Province, in 1701, he presented Mr. Logan to the assembled Chiefs, as his representative; and this choice of an agent was justified by his conduct. During the whole of his public life, the affectionate intercourse commenced by William Penn, and the confidential reliance inspired by his justice and benevolence, were preserved by James Logan. It is perhaps worthy of being mentioned, that the celebrated Mingo Chief, whose eloquent speech is contained in Mr. Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, was named Logan by his father Shickellemy, as a mark of respect and gratitude for the friend and protector of himself and his race.
A history of James Logan's public life would be that of Pennsylvania during the first forty years of the last century. Venerating William Penn, with whose noble and generous nature he was well acquainted, he stood up at all times in his defence against the encroachments of the Assembly; and, if he forfeited his popularity, and endured calumny and persecution, he preserved his fidelity, the confidence of his employers, and the respect of all good men. Weary of the burden of public office, he retired in 1738 from all his salaried employments, remaining only a short time longer a member of the Provincial Council. At his estate, called Stenton, near Germantown, he passed in retirement the remainder of his days, devoted to agriculture and his favorite studies. A large collection of mathematical papers in manuscript, exhibiting extensive and varied researches in that science, are marked on the envelope, Hore ante Nonam,
Our Friends spare no pains to get and accumulate estates, and are yet against defending them, though these very estates are in a great measure the sole cause of their being invaded, as I showed to our Yearly Meeting, last September was six years, in a paper thou then printed. But I request to be informed, as soon as thou hast any leisure, what measures are proposed to furnish small arms, powder, and ball to those in the country; and particularly what measures are taken to defend our river, especially at the Red Bank, on the
and are doubtless the results of his morning recreations before officehours. His correspondence with the literary men of America and Europe, from the year 1713, proves that there was scarcely a department of learning in which he was not interested. History, archeology, criticism, theology, ethics, natural philosophy, anatomy, and law, are treated of. Sometimes Hebrew or Arabic characters, and algebraic formulas, roughen the pages of his letter books. Sometimes his letters convey a lively Greek ode to a learned friend, and often they are written in the Latin language. Among his correspondents in this country were Cadwallader Colden, Governor Burnet, and Colonel Hunter, the accomplished friend of Swift; and in Europe, Collinson, Fothergill, Mead, Sir Hans Sloane, Flamsteed, Jones the mathematician, father of the celebrated Sir William Jones, Fabricius, Gronovius, and Linnæus; the last of whom gave the name of Logan to a Class in botany.
Of his printed writings perhaps the best known is his Translation of Cicero's “ Cato Major, or a Discourse on Old Age," with explanatory notes, which was printed by Franklin in 1744, and several times reprinted in England. He also wrote “ Erperimenta et Meletemata de plantarum Generatione,” printed at Leyden in 1739, and afterwards translated by Dr. Fothergill, and printed in London; “ Demonstrationes de Radiorum Lucis in Superficies sphericas ab Are incidentium a primario Foco Aberrationibus," printed at Leyden, 1741; “ Epistola ad Virum Clarissimum Joannem Albertum Fabricium," printed at Amsterdam, 1740; “A Translation of Cato's Distichs into English Verse," printed at Philadelphia. He furnished contributions to the Philosophical Transactions, and wrote other pieces on various subjects in Latin and English, some of which were published. He also left some curious papers in manuscript, particularly part of an ethical treatise, entitled “The Duties of Man, as they may be deduced from Nature.” This was prepared with great care. Parts of it were sent to his friends in England, and received their high commendation; but it seems never to have been completed. Also fragments of a “ Dis. sertation on the Writings of Moses ; " " A Defence of Aristotle and the
Jersey side, and on our own, where there ought not to be less than forty guns, from six to twelve pounders. What gunners are to be depended on?
Thy project of a lottery to clear £3,000 is excellent, and I hope it will be speedily filled; nor shall I be wanting. But thou wilt answer all these questions and much more, if thou wilt visit me here, as on First day, to dine with me, and thou wilt exceedingly oblige thy very loving friend,
Ancient Philosophers ;" Essays on Languages and on the Antiquities of the British Isles; a Translation of Maurocordatus regd xabnxóvrwv, and of Philo Judæus's Allegory of the Esseans.
His acquaintance with Franklin began at an early date, and he had the highest opinion of him from the first, as an industrious, useful, and ingenious man; giving him every encouragement as a printer, and much assistance in his scientific pursuits and public enterprises. In the military defence of the city he was prominently active, notwithstanding his connexion with the Friends' Meeting. Indeed he at all times vindicated the principle of self-defence, as not only consistent with the Christian doctrines, but absolutely essential to the existence of society. In every other respect, though neither austere nor bigoted, he was a strict Friend. His virtues, his benevolence, his public integrity and services, his intimate connexion with William Penn, and the honor which his talents and learning conferred on the Society of Friends, perhaps saved him from the censure, which a less eminent man might have incurred.
In addition to his services as a public man, and his high reputation among his contemporaries, the valuable library left by him to the City of Philadelphia should preserve his name in grateful and honorable remembrance. In the philosophical and mathematical sciences, in philology and criticism, classical literature and history, it was as perfect, as it could be made at the period of his death; and the funds left by him for its increase were sufficient to fill it up, as the advance of literature and science required. Although the number of volumes has increased from four thou sand to about nine thousand, it may be doubted whether it has been completed as its founder would have desired. In the acquisitions by gifts, and purchase from the library of Mr. McKensie, there are certainly many rare books; but the scholar will look in vain for the best recent editions of old authors, and the learned comments of modern critics; and the scientific inquirer, for almost all the valuable works on the improvements in natural science and the mathematics.
James Logan died on the 31st of October, 1751, aged seventy-seven years, and was buried in the Friends' grave-yard, at the corner of Arch Street and Fourth Street in Philadelphia. — J. FRANCIS FISHER.