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and we have belonging to it a middling apparatus. for experimental philosophy, and purpose speedily to complete it. The Loganian library, one of the best collections in America, will shortly be opened so that neither books nor instruments shall be want. ing; and as we are determined always to give good salaries, we have reason to believe we may have als ways an opportunity of choosing good masters; upon which, indeed, the success of the whole de. pends. We are obliged to you for your kind offers in this respect, and when you are seuled in England, we may occasionally make use of your friend.. ship and judgment., - If it suits your conveniency to visit Philadelphia before you return to Europe, I shall be extremely glad to see and converse with you here, as well as to correspond with you after your settlement in England; for an acquaintance and communication with men of learning, virtue, and public spirit, is one of my greatest enjoyments.
I do not know whether you ever happened to see the first proposals I made for erecting this acaderny. I send them inclosed. They had (however imper. fect) the desired success, being followed by a subscription of four thousand pounds, towards carry.ing them into execution. And as we are fond of receiving advice, and are daily improving by experience, I am in hopes we shall, in a few years, set & perfect institution. I am very respectfully, &c.
B. FRANKLIN. Mr. W. Smith, Long-Island,
PHILADELPHIA, May 3d, 1753. SIR,
Mr. Peters has just now been with me, and we have compared notes on your new piece. We find
nothing in the scheme of education, however excel. lent, but what is, in our opinion, very practicable. The great difficulty will be to find the Aratus*, and other suitable persons, to carry it into execution; but such may be had if proper encouragement be given. We have both received great pleasure in the perusal of it. For my part, I know not when I have read a piece that has more affected me-sonoble and just are the sentiments, so warm and ani. mated the language; yet as censure from your friends may be of more use, as well as more agreeable to you than praise, I ought to mention, that I wish you had omitted not only the quotation from the Review,t which you are now justly dissatisfied with, but those expressions of resentment against your adversaries, in pages 65 and 79. In such cases, the noblest victory is obtained by neglect, and by shining on. .
Mr. Allen has been out of town these ten davs ; but before he went he directed me to procure him six copies of your piece. Mr. Peters has taken ten. He purposed to have written to you ; but omits it, as he expects so soon to have the pleasure of seeing you here. He desires me to present his affectionate compliments to you, and to assure you that you will be very welcome to him. I shall only say, that
* The name given to the principal or head of the ideal college, the system of education in which hath nevertheless been nearly realized, or followed as a model, in the college and academy of Philadelphia, and some other American seminaries, for many years past. . The quotation alluded to (from the London Month. ly Review for 1749,) was judged to reflect too severely on the discipline and government of the English univer. sities of Oxford and Cambridge, and was expunged from the following editions of this work,
you may depend on my doing all in my power to
I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN.
PHILADELPHIA, November 27th, 1753.
Having written you fully via Bristol, I have now little to add. Matters relating to the academy remain in statu quo. The trustees would be. glad to see a rector established there, but they dread entering into new engagements till they are got out of debt; and I have not yet got them wholly over to my opinion, that a good professor, or teacher of the higher branches of learning, would draw so many scholars as to pay great part, if not the whole of his salary. Thus, unless the proprietors (of the province) shall think fit to put the finishing hand to our institution, it must, I fear, wait some few years longer before it can arrive at that state of perfection, which to me it seems now capable of; and all the pleasure I promised myself in seeing you settled among us, vanishes into smoke.
But good Mr. Collinson writes me word, that no endeavors of his shall be wanting; and he hopes, with the archbishop's assistance, to be able to prevail with our proprietors.* I pray God grant them success.
* Upon the application of archbishop Herring and P. Collinson, Esq. at Dr. Franklin's request (aided by the letters of Mr. Allen and Mr. Peters) the Hon. Thomas Penn, Esq. subscribed an annual sum, and afterwards gave at least 50001. to the founding or engrafting the college upon the academy.
My son presents his affectionate regards, with, dear sir, Yours, &c.
P.S. I have not been favored with a line from you since your arrival in England.
PHILADELPHIA, April 18th, 1754. DEAR SIR,
I have had but one letter from you since your arrival in England, which was a short one, via Boston, dated October 18ih, acquainting me that you had written largely by capt. Davis. Davis was josi, and with him your letters, to my great disappointment. Mesnard and Gibbon have since arrived here, and I hear nothing from you. My coin. fort is, an imagination that you only omit writing because you are coming, and purpose, to tell me every thing viva voce. So not knowing whether this letter will reach you, and hoping either to see o hear from you. by the M;ruilla, Capt. Bid. don's ship, a hich is daili expected, I only add, that ) am, with great esteem and affr-ction, Yours, &c.
B. FRANKLIN. Mr. Smiih,
About a month after the date of this last letter, thi.nileman to whom it was aduiressed arrived in l'huilelphia, and was immediately placed at the head of the siminary ; whereby Franklin, and other trustet s, wrre enabled to prosecute their plan for perfecting the institurion, and opening shollege upon the large and liberal foundatiuo on which it Je, now stands; for which purpose they obtained their ; additional charter, dated May 27th, 1755.
Thus far we thought it proper to exhibit in one view Dr. Franklin's services in the foundation and establishment of this seminary. He soon afterwards embarked for England, in the service of his coun. try; and having been generally employed abroad, in the like service, for the greater part of the remainder of his life (as will appear in our subsequent account of the same) he had but sew opportunities of taking any further active part in the affairs, of the seminary, until his final return in the year 1785, when he found its charter violated, and his ancient colleagues, the original founders deprived of their trust, by an act of the legislature ; and although his own name had been inserted among the new trus. tees, yet he declined to take his seat among them, or any concern in the management of their affairs, till the institution was restored by law to its original owners. He then assembled his old colleagues at his own house, and being chosen their presi. dent, all their future meetings were, at his request, held there, till within a few months of his death, when with reluctance, and at their desire, lest he might be too much injured by his attention to their business, he suffered them to meet at the college. · Franklin not only gave birth to many useful in. stitutions hiinself, but he was also instrumental in promoting those which had originated with other men. About the year 1752, an eminent physician of this city, Dr. Bond, considering the deplora.. ble state of the poor, when visited with disease, conceived the idea of establishing an hospital. Notwithstanding very great exertions on his part, he was able to interest few people so far in his be. ntvolent plan, as to obtain subscriptions from them.