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"From these letters also, the state of the academy, that time, will be seen.
Philadelphia, April 19, 1753. SIR, I received your favor of the 11th instant, with your new* piece on Education which I shall carefully peruse, and give you my sentiments of it, as you desire, by next post.
I believe the young gentlemen, your pupils, may be entertained and instructed here, in mathematics and philosophy to satisfaction. Mr. Alisont (who was educated at Glasgow) has been long accustomed to teach the latter, and Mr. Grewt the former ; and I think thcir pupils make great progress. Mr. Alison has the care of the Latin and Greek school, but as he has now three good assistants, he can very well afford some hours every day for the instruction of those who are, engaged in higher studies. The mathematical school is pretty well furnished with instruments. The English library is a good one ; 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 will be wanting ; and as we are determined al. ways to give good salaries, we have reason to believe we may have always an opportunity of choosing good masters ; upon which, indeed, the success of the whole depends. We are obliged to you for your kind offers
* A general idea of the college of Marania.
+ The Rev. and learned Mr. Francis Alison, afterwards D.'D, and Vice-Provost of the College.
# Mr. Theophilus Grew, afterwards Professor of Mathematics in the College.
$ Those assistants were at that time Mr. Charles Thompson, late Secretary of Congress, Mr. Paul Jackson, and Mr. Jacob Duche.
in this respect, and when you are settled in Englando we may occasionally make use of your friendship and judgment.
If it suits your conveniency to visit Philadelphia bez fore 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 greats ost enjoyments.
I do not know whether you ever happened to see the first proposals I made for erecting the Academy. I send them enclosed. They had (however imperfect) the desired success, being followed by a subscription of four thousand pounds, towards carrying 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, see a perfect institution. I am very respec:fully, &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 excellent, 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
* 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 scmine ries, for many years past.
more affected me-so noble and just are the sentiments, so warm and animated 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,* 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 days ; 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 com pliments to you, and to assure you that you will be very welcome to him. I shall only say, that you may depend on my doing all in my power to make your visit to Philadelphia agreeable to you. I am, &c.
B. FRANKLIN, Mr. Smith
Philadelphia, November 27, 1.753c DEAR SIR, Having written you fully, via Bristol, I have now little to add. Matters relating to the Academy remain in-stutu 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.
* The quotation alluded to (from the London Monthly Re. view for 1749,) was judged to reflect too severely on the dis.. cipline and government of the English universities of Oxford: and Cambridge, and was expunged from the following edim bons of this work.
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 endeavours 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 suctess.
My son presents his affectionate regards, with, dear
B. FRANKLIN. P. S. I have not been favoured with a line from you since your arrival in England.
Philadelfihia April.18, 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 18th, acquainting me that you had written largely byc aptain Davis--Davis was lost, and with him your letters, to iny great disappointment. Mesnard and Gibbon have since arrived here, and I hear nothing from you. My comfort 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 or hear from you by the Myrtilla, Capt.
* Upon the application of archbishop Herring, and P Col. linson, 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:
Buddon's ship, which is daily expected, I only add, that I am, with great esteem and affection, 1. Yours, &c.
B. FRANKLIN. Mr. Smith.
About a month after the date of this last letter, the gentleman to whom it was addressed arrived in Philadelphia, and was immediately placed at the head of the seminary; whereby Dr. Franklin, and the other trustees, were enabled to prosecute their plan, for perfecting the institution, and opening the college upon the large and liberal foundation on which it 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 public service of his country; and having been generally employed abroad, in the like service, for the greatest part of the remainder of his life, (as will appear in our subsequent account of the same) he had but few opportunities of taking any further active part in the affairs of the sem. inary, until his final return in the year 1785, when he found its charters 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 trustees, 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 as. sembled his old colleagues at his own house, and being chosen their president, 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,