Abbildungen der Seite

too much, and that your exporting merchants are rather out of their senses.

I wish success to your endeavours for obtaining an abolition of the Slave Trade. The epistle from your Yearly Meeting, for the year 1758, was not the first sowing of the good seed you mention; for I find by an old pamphlet in my possession, that George Keith, near a hundred years since, wrote a paper against the practice, said to be “given forth by the appointment of the meeting held by him, at Philip James's house, in the city of Philadelphia, about the year 1693; " wherein a strict charge was given to Friends, “that they should set their negroes at liberty, after some reasonable time of service, &c. &c.” And about the year 1728, or 1729, I myself printed a book for Ralph Sandyford, another of your Friends in this city, against keeping negroes in slavery; two editions of which he distributed gratis. And about the year 1736, I printed another book on the same subject for Benjamin Lay, who also professed being one of your Friends, and he distributed the books chiefly among them. By these instances it appears, that the seed was indeed sown in the good ground of your profession, though much earlier than the time you mention, and its springing up to effect at last, though so late, is some confirmation of Lord Bacon's observation, that a good motion never dies; and it may encourage us in making such, though hopeless of their taking immediate effect.

I doubt whether I shall be able to finish my Memoirs, and, if I finish them, whether they will be proper for publication. You seem to have too high an opinion of them, and to expect too much from them.*

Dr. Franklin did not complete his Memoirs to a later date than that of his first public mission to England, in the year 1757. Shortly after his death, they were continued to the end of his life by Dr. Stuber, and

I think you are right in preferring a mixed form of government for your country, under its present circumstances; and if it were possible for you to reduce the enormous salaries and emoluments of great officers, which are at bottom the source of all your violent factions, that form might be conducted more quietly and happily; but I am afraid, that none of your factions, when they get uppermost, will ever have virtue enough to reduce those salaries and emoluments, but will rather choose to enjoy them.

I enclose a bill for twenty-five pounds, for which, when received, please to credit my account, and out of it pay Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, of Jeffries Square, and Mr. William Vaughan, his brother, of Mincing Lane, such accounts against me as they shall present to you for that purpose. I am, my dear friend, yours very affectionately,

were first published in the Columbian Magazine. This Continuation has often been printed in connexion with the autobiography. In Hardie's New Universal Biographical Dictionary, (Vol. IV. p. 292,) is a brief notice of the author's life. The following sketch has been furnished by Dr. John W. Francis, of New York,

“ Henry Stuber was cut off too early in life to afford materials for much beyond the ordinary record of an obituary register. He was descended from German parents, and was born in Philadelphia, as nearly as can be ascertained, about the year 1770. The traditional accounts concerning him are eminently favorable as to his natural capacity, his various attainments, and his moral worth. He evinced throughout his brief career an ardent love of literature and science; and, though his circumstances were narrow, he pursued them more with the desire of promoting useful and benevolent designs, than with a view to selfish remuneration. He acquired the rudiments of the Greek, Latin, and German languages, under the direction of the learned Dr. Kunze, at that time connected with the University of Pennsylvania, and was one of his favorite pupils when Dr. Kunze left the city of Philadelphia for New York, in 1784. These languages he acquired with a remarkable facility; they were, however, but auxiliaries to his investigations in almost every branch of human inquiry, to which he seems to have directed his energies. The stock of knowledge, which he thus accumulated, laid a broad foundation for his intended career. His acquaintance with the different branches of physical and mental research now led him to a close study of Medicine, and he was graduated with honor in that profession. His health, however, forbade him more than a very partial exercise of its responsible trusts. Very early thereafter, peculiar opportunities presenting, he obtained a situation in one of the public offices of the United States' government; and, deeming Law more available to his new pursuits, he commenced the study of that science with unabated ardor, when he was arrested by a disease of the pulmonary organs, which at an earlier period had given rise to alarming apprehensions among his friends. He died when he had just passed the age of his majority.



Giving him Notice of his having been chosen a Member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences.

St. Petersburgh, 4 November, 1789. DEAR SIR, Having always supposed, and even cherished the idea, that you were a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, which is at St. Petersburgh under my direction, I was greatly surprised, when, reviewing the list of its members some days ago, I did not find your name in the number. I hastened therefore to acquire this honor for the Academy, and you were received among its members with an unanimous applause and joy. I beg you, Sir, to accept of this title, and to believe that I look upon it as an honor acquired by our Academy.

“The consideration, in which his memory is to be held, arises not alone from his numerous attainments in letters and philosophy. Various contributions to the periodical journals of the time attest at once his powers in bis native language, the solidity of his acquisitions, and no mean force of original thinking. The only literary effort by which he will be remembered is his Continuation of the Life of Franklin."

The most important part of Stuber's Continuation is that in which he gives a historical account of Dr. Franklin's discoveries in electricity. This has been printed at large in the fifth volume of the present edition.

* This letter was written in English. Dr. Franklin had occasionally met the Princess of Daschkoff at Paris. For several years she held the office of President and Director of the Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburgh,

I shall order the patent to be despatched to you as soon as possible. In the mean time be assured, that it is with the greatest pleasure that I profit of the present occasion to give you token of my regard and veneration for your eminent character, and that I shall always recollect with pride the advantage I had to be personally noticed by you. With a sincere consideration I am, dear Sir, your most obedient servant,



Philadelphia, 5 November, 1789. DEAR SIR, I received your favor of July 25th, but had no opportunity of showing any civility to the bearer, whom you mention as coming under the auspices of William Franklin, as he did not show himself to me.

I am obliged by your kind inquiries after my health, which is still tolerably good, the stone excepted; my constitution being such, as, if it were not for that malady, might have held out yet some years longer.

I hope the fire of liberty, which you mention as spreading itself over Europe, will act upon the inestimable rights of man, as common fire does upon gold; purify without destroying them ; so that a lover of liberty may find a country in any part of Christendom.

I see with pleasure in the public prints, that our Society * is still kept up and flourishes. I was an early member; for, when Mr. Shipley sent me a list

The London Society for promoting Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, of which Mr. Moore was Secretary.

of the subscribers, they were but seventy; and, though I had no expectation then of going to England, and acting with them, I sent a contribution of twenty guineas; in consideration of which the Society were afterwards pleased to consider me a member.

I wish to the exertions of your manufacturers, who are generally excellent, and to the spirit and enterprise of your merchants, who are famed for fair and honorable dealing, all the success they merit in promoting the prosperity of your country.

I am glad our friend Small enjoys so much health, and his faculties so perfectly, as I perceive he does by his letters. I know not whether he is yet returned from his visit to Scotland, and therefore give you the trouble of the enclosed. My best wishes attend you, being ever, dear Sir, your most obedient servant,



Poor Laws. - American Loyalists. French and

English Governments.

Philadelphia, 5 November, 1789. DEAR SIR, I received your several favors of April 23d, May 9th, and June 2d, together with the manuscript concerning Ventilation,* which will be inserted in our next volume.

I have long been of your opinion, that your legal provision for the poor is a very great evil, operating as it does to the encouragement of idleness. We have followed your example, and begin now to see our error, and, I hope, shall reform it. I find by your letters,

* See Vol. VI. pp. 307 – 324.

« ZurückWeiter »