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TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN.
London, 21 December, 1708. MY DEAR Child, I wonder to hear, that my friends were backward in bringing you my letters when they arrived, and think it must be a mere imagination of yours, the effect of some melancholy humor you happened then to be in. I condole with you sincerely on poor Debby's account, and I hope she got well to her husband with her two children.
You say in yours of October 18th, “For me to give you any uneasiness about your affairs here, would be of no service, and I shall not at this time enter on it.” I am made by this to apprehend, that something is amiss, and perhaps have more uneasiness from the uncertainty, than I should have had, if you had told me what it was. I wish, therefore, you would be explicit in your next. I rejoice, that my good old friend, Mr. Coleman, is got safe home and continues well.
Remember me respectfully to Mr. Rhoads, Mr. Wharton, Mr. Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Duffield, neighbour Thomson, Dr. and Mrs. Redman, Mrs. Hopkinson, Mr. Duché, Dr. Morgan, Mr. Hopkinson, and all the other friends you have from time to time mentioned as inquiring after me. As you ask me, I can assure you, that I do really intend, God willing, to return in the summer, and that as soon as possible after settling matters with Mr. Foxcroft, whom I expect in April or May. I am glad that you find so much reason to be satisfied with Mr. Bache. I hope all will prove for the best. Captain Falconer has been arrived at Plymouth some time, but, the winds being contrary, could get no farther; so I have not yet received the apples, meal, &c., and fear they will be spoiled. I send with this some of the new kind of oats much admired here to make oatmeal of, and for other uses, as being free from husks; and some Swiss barley, six rows to an ear. Perhaps our friends may like to try them, and you may distribute the seed among them. Give some to Mr. Roberts, Mr. Rhoads, Mr. Thomson, Mr. Bartram, our son, and others.
I hope the cold you complain of, in two of your letters, went off without any ill consequences. We are, as you observe, blest with a great share of health, considering our years, now sixty-three. For my own part, I think of late that my constitution rather mends. I have had but one touch of the gout, and that a light one, since I left you. It was just after my arrival here, so that this is the fourth winter I have been free. Walking a great deal tires me. less than it used to do. I feel stronger and more active. Yet I would not have you think, that I fancy I shall grow young again. I know that men of my bulk often fail suddenly. I know that, according to the course of nature, I cannot at most continue much longer, and that the living even of another day is uncertain. I therefore now form no schemes, but such as are of immediate execution, indulging myself in no future prospect except one, that of returning to Philadelphia, there to spend the evening of life with my friends and family.
Mr. and Mrs. Strahan, and Mr. and Mrs. West, when I last saw them, desired to be kindly remembered to you. Mrs. Stevenson and our Polly send their love. Mr. Coombe, who seems a very agreeable young man, lodges with us for the present. Adieu, my dear Debby. I am, as ever, your affectionate husband,
FROM NOBLE W. JONES TO B. FRANKLIN.
With an Address from the Assembly of Georgia to
the King. Savannah, in Georgia, 24 December, 1768.
By direction of the Commons House of Assembly of this province, I herewith transmit to you their address to our most gracious Sovereign, which I, on their behalf, desire you will please to have presented, as soon after the receipt as possibly may be; the manner of presenting, whether in person, or otherwise, is left to you.
I also enclose you the resolution of the House, authorizing me to transmit the same. The House, entirely confiding in your approved zeal for the welfare and preservation of the rights and liberties of America, make not the least doubt of your concurring with the agents of the other colonies in endeavours to obtain a repeal of those acts of the Parliament of Great Britain so grievous to his Majesty's loyal subjects of this continent, and destructive of that harmony which ought to, and they earnestly wish may, subsist between our mother country and its colonies. A restoration of which we doubt not you and they will earnestly, warmly, and as much as possible, promote.* I am, &c.
N. W. JONES.
* The Assembly said, in their petition to the King; “ We acknowledge a constitutional subordination to the mother country and to its supreme legislature, at the same time, with inexpressible concern, we must lament, that by their imposition of internal taxes we are deprived of the privilege, which, with humble deference, we apprehend to be our indubitable right, of granting away our own property; and are thereby prevented from a compliance with any requisition, which your Majesty may graciously please to make, and which, to the utmost of our abilities, we have hitherto always most cheerfully obeyed."
TO MICHAEL COLLINSON.
Biographical Facts respecting Peter Collinson.
[Date uncertain.) DEAR SIR, Understanding that an account of our dear departed friend, Mr. Peter Collinson,* is intended to be given to the public, I cannot omit expressing my approbation of the design. The characters of good men are exemplary, and often stimulate the well disposed to an imitation, beneficial to mankind, and honorable to themselves. And as you may be unacquainted with the following instances of his zeal and usefulness in promoting knowledge, which fell within my observation, I take the liberty of informing you, that in 1730, a subscription library being set on foot at Philadelphia, he encouraged the design by making several very valuable presents to it, and procuring others from his friends; and, as the library company had a considerable sum
* Peter Collinson, a celebrated botanist, was descended from a family of ancient standing in the county of Westmoreland, but born himself in 1693, in Clement's Lane, Lombard Street. His parents realized a handsome fortune by trade in Gracechurch Street, the bulk of which coming to Peter, who was the eldest son, he was enabled to follow his favorite pursuit of natural history. He had one of the finest gardens in England, at Peckham, in Surrey, whence he removed in 1749 to Mill Hill, in the parish of Hendon in Middlesex, where he died, August 11th, 1768. Mr. Collinson kept up a correspondence with men of science in all parts of the world, and he sent the first electrical machine that was ever seen in America, as a present to the Library Company at Philadelphia. He was also a liberal contributor to the public library of that city; and an intimate friend of Dr. Franklin, who received from him many hints and papers on the subject of electricity.-W. T. F.
In the year 1770, Michael Collinson published a memoir, entitled, “Some Account of Peter Collinson.” As it was the design of the above letter to communicate facts for this memoir, it was probably written not long after his death. There is a biographical notice of him, also, appended to Dr. Littsom's Memoirs of Dr. John Fothergill.
arising annually to be laid out in books, and needed a judicious, friend in London to transact the business for them, he voluntarily and cheerfully undertook that service, and executed it for more than thirty years successively, assisting in the choice of books, and taking the whole care of collecting and shipping them, without ever charging or accepting any consideration for his trouble. The success of this library (greatly owing to his kind countenance and good advice) encouraged the erecting others in different places on the same plan; and it is supposed there are now upwards of thirty subsisting in the several colonies, which have contributed greatly to the spreading of useful knowledge in that part of the world; the books he recommended being all of that kind, and the catalogue of this first library being much respected and followed by those libraries that succeeded.
During the same time he transmitted to the directors of the library the earliest accounts of every new European improvement in agriculture and the arts, and every philosophical discovery; among which, in 1745, he sent over an account of the new German experiments in electricity, together with a glass tube, and some directions for using it, so as to repeat those experiments. This was the first notice I had of that curious subject, which I afterwards prosecuted with some diligence, being encouraged by the friendly reception he gave to the letters I wrote to him upon it. Please to accept this small testimony of mine to his memory, for which I shall ever have the utmost respect; and believe me, with sincere esteem, dear Sir, your most chumble servant,