« ZurückWeiter »
1. PAPERS PROPER FOR INSERTION, BUT OMITTED,
IN THE PRECEDING VOLUMES :
E LETTERS BY SEVERAL EMINENT PERSONS, IL
LUSTRATIVE OF DR. FRANKLIN'S MANNERS
APPENDIX, No. I.
CONTAINING PAPERS PROPER FOR INSERTION, BUT
OMITTED, IN THE PRECEDING VOLUMES.
Letter to Sir Hans Sloane*.
June 2, 1725.
HAVING lately been in the northern parts of America, I have brought from thence a purse made of the asbestos, a piece of the stone, and a piece of the wood, the pithy part of which is of the same nature, and called by the inhabitants salamander cotton. As you are noted to be a lover of curiosities, I have informed you of these: and if you have any inclination to purchase or see them, let me know your pleasure, by a line directed for me at the Golden Fan in Little Britain, and I will wait upon you with them.
P.S. I expect to be out of town in two or three days, and therefore beg an immediate answer.
* From the Gentleman's Magazine, for 1780, where it appears among other original letters to Sir Hans Sloane, from different per
Letter to Michael Collinson, Esq*.
[No date.] UNDERSTANDING that an account of our dear departed friend, Mr. Peter Collinson, is intended to be given to the public, I cannot omit expressing my approbation of the design. The characters of good men are exemplary, and often stimulate the well disposed to an imitation, beneficial to mankind, and honourable to themselves. And as you may be unacquainted with the following instances of his zeal and usefulness in promoting knowledge, which fell within my observation, I take the liberty of informing you, that in 1730, a subscription library being set on foot at Philadelphia, he encouraged the design by making several very valuable presents to it, and procuring others from his friends: and as the library company had a considerable sum arising annually to be laid out in books, and needed a judicious friend in London to transact the business for them, he voluntarily and cheerfully undertook that service, and executed it for more than thirty years successively, assisting in the choice of books, and taking the whole care of collecting and shipping them, with. out ever charging or accepting any consideration for his trouble. The success of this library (greatly owing to his kind countenance and good advice) encouraged the erecting others in different places on the same plan; and it is supposed there are now upwards of thirty subşisting in the several colonies, which have contributed greatly to the spreading of useful knowledge in that part of the world; the books he recommended being
• * From the London Magazine, for April, 1776. Editor.
all of that kind, and the catalogue of this first library being much respected and followed by those libraries that succeeded. .
During the same time he transmitted to the directors of the library the earliest accounts of every new European improvement in agriculture and the arts, and every philosophical discovery; among which, in 1745, he sent over an account of the new German experiments in electricity, together with a glass tube, and some directions for using it so as to repeat those experiments. This was the first notice I had of that curious subject, which I afterwards prosecuted with some diligence, being encouraged by the friendly reception he gave to the letters I wrote to him upon it. Please to accept this small testimony of mine to his memory, for which I shall ever have the utmost respect; and believe me, with sincere esteem, dear sir, Your most humble servant,
Letter respecting Captain Cook.
To all captains and commanders of armed ships, acting
by commission from the congress of the United States of America, now in war with Great Britain.
GENTLEMEN, A SHIP having been fitted out from England, before the commencement of this war, to make discoveries of new countries in unknown seas, under the conduct of that most celebrated navigator, Captain Cook,-an undertaking truly laudable in itself, as the increase of
2 1 2