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any occasion worth your while to continue the correspondence. If you think proper to inform me of the common charge of printing, and the price of common printing-paper, perhaps it may give me an opportunity, some time or other, of serving you.
I am, &c.
TO CADWALLADER COLDEN.*
Organization of a Philosophical Society.
New York, 5 April, 1744.
Dr. Thomas Bond, as Physician.
* This letter was first printed in the American Medical and Philosophical Register for October, 1811. The manuscript was obtained by the editors from the papers of Cadwallader Colden. Accompanying the printed letter is a beautiful fac-simile of the original in the handwriting of Franklin. The AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, as afterwards instituted, was formed out of two Societies, of which the above was one. The other was the Society for promoting and propagating Useful Knowledge. The two Societies were incorporated into one, called the AMERICAN Philosophical Society, in December, 1768; and in January, 1769, Franklin was elected the first President, although he was at that time in England. -EDITOR.
Mr. Samuel Rhoads, as Mechanician.
FTo whom the following members have since been added, viz. Mr. Alexander, of New York; Mr. Morris, Chief Justice of the Jerseys; Mr. Home, Secretary of do.; Mr. John Coxe, of Trenton; and Mr. Martyn, of the same place. Mr. Nicholls tells me of several other gentlemen of this city, that incline to encourage the thing; and there are a number of others, in Virginia, Maryland, and the New England colonies, whom we expect to join us, as soon as they are acquainted that the Society has begun to form itself. I am, Sir, with much respect, Your most obedient humble servant,
FROM WILLIAM STRAHAN TO C. COLDEN.
Objections to the proposed New Method of Printing.
London, 9 May, 1744. SIR, I was favored with yours of the 3d of December last, in answer to a line I sent you by Mr. Collinson's direction. The desire you have of promoting any useful discovery is very laudable; but in the present case I own I do not think it can be of the benefit you seem to imagine. For as to the books you mention, though they are of great and lasting utility, their sale is very insignificant; besides that they are the properties of
particular persons, who have always a number of them sufficient to supply the market, and therefore would not easily, if at all, be induced to try any other method of printing them than what they have been used to.
In the mean time, I make no doubt but what you propose might be useful in some sorts of Tables, such as Tables of Interest, Logarithms, &c., provided the first
expense was not too great. At present the printers here keep several things, which are often wanted, continually standing; such as “The Psalms” in metre, in all sizes, “ The Proverbs of Solomon," several school books, and classic authors, “ The Child's Guide,” the “Catechisms,” &c. &c., till the types are quite worn out, which, you know, answers the very same end as the method you propose.
As to what you mention of some sorts of wood, I own I do not know any thing of the way you would use them, and therefore can form no judgment of their usefulness, nor do I desire or expect you should discover any thing of it to me, without the consent of the person you mention, who has already tried it, and whose business it is to profit by any discovery his uncommon abilities may enable him to make. From the character you give him, I am sure it must be Mr. Franklin you mean, whose fame has long ago reached this part of the world, for a most ingenious man “in his way.” I have had the pleasure of corresponding with him lately, and have sent him by The Mercury, Captain Hargrave, one of my journeymen, to whom he intends to give the management of one of his printing-houses. His name is David Hall.* If he is
* This person was long associated in business with Franklin. In his autobiography he characterizes David Hall as “a very able, honest, and industrious partner"; and adds, she took off my hands all care of the printing-office, paying me punctually my share of the profits. This partnership continued eighteen years, successfully for us both.”— EDITOR.
settled near you, as is probable, or if you should chance to meet with him anywhere else, I should be extremely obliged to you if you would show him any civility in your power, as he is a stranger, and a most deserving young man. He can inform you fully how printing affairs stand here.
I am greatly indebted to you for your kind offer of serving me. The prices of paper and printing here are now very reasonable. Good printing demy paper (which is the size commonly used) may be had at ten, eleven, or twelve shillings a ream, and other sizes in proportion, viz. crown paper at seven or eight shillings, and pot paper at five or six shillings a ream. Printing one thousand copies of a sheet on a pica letter costs a guinea, and one shilling for every one hundred over that number; and so in proportion, according to the size of the type and page. A pica octavo page contains thirty-eight lines.
I likewise sell all sorts of books, so that if your acquaintance want any, I shall be obliged to you if you
will direct them to me, in Wine Office Court in Fleet Street. I shall be very well pleased if, in return for your kindness, I could be of any service to you in this place. Meanwhile I shall be extremely glad to keep a friendly correspondence with you, and am, Sir, Your most obedient servant,
FROM CADWALLADER COLDEN TO B. FRANKLIN.
Concerning Thoughts on different Species of Matter.-
Suggestion for publishing Philosophical Papers.
Coldenham, December, 1744. SIR, The season of the year advancing in which our correspondence from this place with New York becomes more uncertain, and my eldest son going now to New York, where he proposes to stay eight or ten days, I hope you will excuse my interrupting you in your business, which I know allows you little time for trifles or amusements.
In your last you gave me hopes, that you would soon be able to inform me what sentiment Mr. Logan entertains of the Introduction to Fluxions, which was submitted to his perusal. By my last I transmitted to you some thoughts of the different species of matter. As these thoughts are entirely new, and out of the common road of thinking, I have reason not only to be apprehensive that others may not easily receive the conceptions, but that I may have imposed on myself ; and it is for this reason, that I have submitted them to Mr. Logan's and your examination. I have already
I shown it to Mr. Alexander, and some steps I have made in applying these thoughts to the explanation of some pnenomena in which philosophers have hitherto not been able to give satisfaction. He has taken much more pains in the examination, than could have been expected in one so deeply engaged in business; and, however pleasing his sentiments may be to me, I have reason to suspect that he may be biassed by favor to a very long and intimate acquaintance.
I long likewise to know what progress you make in