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Sir nor Madam could tell what yf was. "Why," says she, "y f spells wife; what else can it spell?" And, indeed, it is a much better, as well as shorter method of spelling wife, than donbleyou, i, ef, e, which in reality spell doubleyifey.

There is much rejoicing in town to-day, it being the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which we signed this day ten years, and thereby hazarded lives and fortunes. God was pleased to put a favorable end to the contest much sooner than we had reason to expect . His name be praised. Adieu,

B. Franklin.


Making Inquiry respecting a Million of Livres advanced by the French Government.

Philadelphia, 11 July, 1786.


I send you enclosed some letters, that have passed between the Secretary of Congress and me, respecting three millions of livres, acknowledged to have been received, before the treaty of February, 1778, as don gratuit from the King, of which only two millions are found in your accounts; unless the million from the FarmersGeneral be one of the three. I have been assured, that all the money received from the King, whether as loan or gift, went through your hands; and as I always looked on the million we had of the FarmersGeneral to be distinct from what we had of the crown, I wonder how I came to sign the contract, acknowledging three millions of gift, when, in reality, there were only two, exclusive of that from the Farmers; and, as both you and I examined the project of the

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contract before I signed it, I am surprised, that neither of us took notice of the error.

It is possible, that the million furnished ostensibly by the Farmers, was in fact a gift of the crown, in which case, as Mr. Thomson observes, they owe us for the two ship loads of tobacco, which they received on account of it. I most earnestly request of you to get this matter explained, that I may stand ctear before I die, lest some enemy should afterwards accuse me of having received a million not accounted for. I am, &c.

B. Franklin.


Name and Condition of the new State of Franklin.

Philadelphia, 12 August, 178&


I received yesterday the letter you did me the honor of writing me on the 15th of June past. I had never before been acquainted, that the name of your intended new State had any relation with my name, having understood that it was called Frankland. It is a very great honor indeed, that its inhabitants have done me, and I should be happy if it were in my power to show how sensible I am of it, by something more essential than my wishes for their prosperity.*

Having resided some years past in Europe, and being but lately arrived thence, I have not had an opportunity of being well informed of the points in dispute between you and the State of North Carolina. I can therefore only say, that I think you are perfectly right in resolving to submit them to the discretion of Con

• The name of this new State was afterwards changed to Tttmeuee.

gress, and to abide by their determination. It is a wise and impartial tribunal, which can have no sinister views to warp its judgment. It is happy for us all, that we have now in our own country such a council to apply to, for composing our differences, without being obliged, as formerly, to carry them across the ocean to be decided, at an immense expense, by a council which knew little of our affairs, would hardly take any pains to understand them, and which often treated our applications with contempt, and rejected them with injurious language. Let us, therefore, cherish and respect our own tribunal; for the more generally it is held in high regard, the more able it will be to answer effectually the ends of its institution, the quieting of our contentions, and thereby promoting our common peace and happiness.

I do not hear any talk of an adjournment of Congress, concerning which you inquire; and I rather think it likely they may continue to sit out their year, as it is but lately they have been able to make a quorum for business, which must therefore probably be in arrear. If you proceed in your intended journey, I shall be glad to see you as you pass through Philadelphia. In the mean time I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir, your most obedient servant,

B. Franklin.


Memoirs of Dr. FothergilL Plan for Discoveries in Natural History. Cultivation of Rhubarb.

London, 14 August, 1786.

Respected Friend,

Not having had the favor of a letter since thy arrival on thy native continent, I take the liberty of addressing a letter with the Memoirs of Dr. Fothergill, just printed. The manner in which I have introduced the memoirs of Dr. Cuming and Dr. Cleghorn will best explain the manner in which I wished to introduce thy respectable name among them. I am sensible how inadequate I am to give the true traits of a character, that has instructed and astonished both America and Europe; and it was not my view thus to enter upon the department of a historian, but rather, by a few anecdotes of early life, to lay the basis of a superstructure destined for an abler pen; and this I think might be done by correcting the dates and some little particulars of that rough sketch, which I formerly sent thee when at Paris; and this would content me, unless thou shouldest be disposed to make any addition.

I have, at different times, received from North America various specimens of ores, as well as of coal. The iron, in particular, has been very fine; and, if these various treasures were properly assayed, probably in time much national advantage might result. There are in your Provinces many ingenious persons, who, with very moderate encouragement, would visit your mountains and woods in pursuit of discovery. You possess many valuable dyes and articles of medicine yet unknown.

I have lately had a correspondence with Mr. Humphrey Marshall, of Bradford, in West Chester County, who is an excellent botanist, and has a pretty general knowledge of natural history, and for a little encouragement, would, I am informed, undertake a voyage of discovery into your woods and mountains. He mentioned to me, that such a journey might be undertaken, and continued for at least a year, at the expense of three hundred pounds. If a subscription for this purpose were effected, I would willingly subscribe my mite of twenty guineas towards it, for the sake of a share of the seeds, plants, and ores that may be collected; I mean as specimens merely of your productions. I have now a man from Europe travelling through America for the purpose of collecting your productions, particularly of the vegetable kind.

Within the last ten years much rhubarb, of the Turkey kind, has been cultivated in Scotland and England. Its cultivation is becoming more and more general- I sent seeds over a year ago. I have now sent roots, as they vegetated with me in pots; and I hope it may become an object with you to cultivate this useful plant. It is also an ornamental plant in horticulture. I hope also by the same opportunity to transmit some tea plants, which your southern colonies are well calculated for. I am respectfully, &x.

J. C. Lettsom.



Versailles, 30 August, 1786.

Sir, I have received the letter, which you did me the honor to write on the 28th of this month, touching the advance of a million, which you say was made by the Farmers-General to the United States of America, the 3d of June, 1777. I have no knowledge of that advance. What I have verified is, that the King, by the contract of the 25th of February, 1783, has confirmed the gratuitous gift, which his Majesty had previously made, of the three millions hereafter mentioned,

* In answer to a letter from Mr. Grand, respecting an inquiry of Dr. Franklin. See the letter to Mr. Grand, above, p. 265.


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