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guages, with all useful branches of the arts and sciences, suitable to the state of an infant country, and laying a foundation for posterity to erect a seminary of learning more extensive, and suitable to their future circumstances;" yet it has been suggested of late, as upon Dr. Franklin's authority, that the Latin and Greek, or the dead languages, are an incumbrance upon a scheme of liberal education, and that the engrafting or founding a college, or more extensive seminary, upon his academy, was without his approbation or agency, and gave him discontent. If the reverse of this does not already appear from what has been quoted above, the following letters will put the matter beyond dispute. They were written by him to a gentleman, who had at that time published the idea of a college, suited to the circumstances of a young country (meaning New York) a copy of which having been sent to Dr. Franklin for his opinion, gave rise to that correspondence which terminated, about a year afterwards, in erecting the college upon the foundation of the academy, and establishing that gentleman at the head of both, where he still continues, after a period of thirty-six years, to preside with distinguished reputation.

From these letters also, the state of the academy, at that time, will be seen.


"Philad. April 19, 1753. "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.

A general idea of the College of Mirania.


Alisont (who was educated at Glasgow) has been long accustomed to teach the latter, and Mr. Grew the former; and I think their 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 instruThe English library is a good one; and we have belonging to it a middling apparatus for experimental philosophy, and propose 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 always 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 in this respect, and when you are settled in England, we may occasionally make use of your friendship and judg


"If it suits your convenience 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 enjoy


"I do not know whether you ever happened to

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 Thomson, late secretary of Congress, Mr. Paul Jackson, and Mr. Jacob Duche.

see the first proposals I made for erecting this 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 respectfully, &c.


"Mr. W. Smith, Long Island.”

"SIR, "Philad. May 3, 1753. "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 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

* 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 Monthly Review for 1749,) was judged to reflect too severely on the discipline and government of the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge and was expunged from the following editions of this work.

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 proposed 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 you may depend on my doing all in my power to make your visit to Philadelphia agreeable to you. "I am, &c.

"Mr. Smith.



"Philad. Nov. 27, 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.

My son presents his affectionate regards,


"DEAR SIR, yours, &c.

"P. S. I have not been favored with a line from you since your arrival in England.”


"Philad. April 18, 1754.

"I HAVE had but one letter from you since your arrival in England, which was but a short one, via Boston, dated Oct. 18th, acquainting me that you had written largely by Captain Davis.— Davis was lost, and with him your letters, to my 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 propose 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, Captain Budden's ship, which is daily expected, I only add, that I am, with great esteem and affection,

"Mr. Smith.

"Yours, &c.


*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 an nual sum, and afterwards gave at least 5,000l. to the founding or engrafting the college upon the academy.

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