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berton; and remember his mentioning the death of “ that wicked old persecutor of God's people, Lewis the XIV;" of which news had just been received; but which proved premature. I was some years afterwards at his house at the north end on some errand to him, and remember him sitting in an easy chair apparently very old and feeble. But Cotton I remember in the vigor of his preaching and usefulness.
You have made the most of your argument, to prove that America might be known to the ancients. There is another discovery of it claimed by the Norwegians, which you have not mentioned, unless it be under the words “ of old viewed and observed,” page 7. About twenty-five years since Professor Kalm, a learned Swede, was with us in Pennsylvania. He contended, that America was discovered by their northern people, long before the time of Columbus; which I doubting, he drew up and gave me some time after, a note of those discoveries, which I send you inclosed. It is his own hand-writing, and his
" Wanting. But the following Account of the Discovery of America has lately appeared.
Brussels, Dec. 4. 1816. • In the last Number of the Magazine for the Sciences, Arts and Letters, published in Dutch at Amsterdam, it is proved from new Documents that are very authentic, that it is not to Columbus or to Vespatius that we owe the Discovery of America but to MARTIN Benens, a native of Nuremberg in Franconia.-He was a most learned Geographer, Astronomer and Navigator. He sailed in 1459, with a Vessel equipped by the orders of Isabella, Daughter of John 2nd, King of Portugal, who was at that time Governess of Burgundy and Flanders. He first discovered Fayal, with the adjacent Islands called the Azores, which bore for a long time the Name of the * Isle of the Flemings." He inhabited for 20 Years own English ; very intelligible for the time he had been among us. The circumstances give the account a great appearance of authenticity. And if one may judge by the description of the winter, the country they visited should be southward of New England, supposing no change since that time of the climate. But if it be true as Krantz, I think, and some other historians tell us, that old Greenland, once inhabited and populous, is now rendered uninhabited by ice, it should seem that the almost perpetual northeru winter had gained ground to the southward ; and if so, perhaps more northern countries might anciently have had viņes, than can bear them in these days.
To SAMUEL DANFORTH, Esq. Dear Sir,
London, July 25, 1773.
It gave me great pleasure to receive se cheerful an epistle from a friend of half a century's standing, and to see him commencing life a-new in so valuable a son. I hope the young gentleman's patent will be as beneficial to him, as his invention must be to the public.
that City, where he established a Colony of Flemings. Eight years before the Expedition of Columbus, in 1484, he secretly applied to John II. who equipped a fotilla to give him all kinds of succours. Behens first discovered the Brazils, penetrated as far as the Straits of Magellan, and visited the Country inhabited by the Patagonians. He made a Map of his Discoveries, delivered it to the King, and sent a Copy of it to Nuremberg, his Native City, where it is still preserved in the Archives of the City. It was after the inspection of this Map, that Columbus undertook his Expedition. (From the Journal de la Belgique, Dec. 3. 1816.)
! I see by the papers, that you continue to afford that public your services, which makes me almost ashamed of my resolutions for retirement. But this exile, though an honourable one,' is become grievous to me, in so long a separation from my family, friends and country; all which you happily enjoy; and long may you continue to enjoy them. I hope for the great pleasure of once more seeing and conversing with you, and though living on in one's children, as we both may do, is a good thing ; I cannot but fancy it might be better to continue living ourselves at the same time. I rejoice therefore, in your kind intentions of including me in the benefits of that inestimable stone, which curing all diseases (even old age itself) will enable us to see the future glorious state of our America, enjoying in full security her own liberties, and offering in her bosom, a participation of them to all the oppressed of other nations. I anticipate the jolly conversation we and twenty more of our friends may have a hundred years hence on this subject; over that well replenished bowl at Cambridge commencement. I am, dear sir, for an age to come, and for ever, with sincere esteem and respect, your most obedient, humble servant,
B. FRANKLIN. To His most Serene Highness Don GABRIEL
Philadelphia, December 12, 1775. ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCE,
I have just received through the hands of the Ambassador of Spain, the much esteemed
' Dr. Franklin was at that time agent for several of the American Colonies, in Great Britain,
present your most Serene Higliness hath 60 kindly sent me, of your excellent version of Sallust.. · I ain extremely sensible of the honor done me, and beg you would accept my thankful acknowledgments. I wish I could send hence any American literary production worthy of your perusal; but as yet the muses have scarcely visited these remote regions. Perhaps, however, the proceedings of our American Congress, just published, may be a subject of some curiosity at your court. I therefore take the liberty of sending your Highness a copy, with some other papers which contain accounts of the successes wherewith Providence has lately favored us. Therein your wise politicians may contemplate the first efforts of a rising state, which seems likely soon to act a part of some importance on the stage of human affairs, and furnish materials for a future Sallust. I am very old and can scarce hope to see the event of this great contest : but looking forward, I think I see a powerful dominion growing up here, whose interest it will be to form a close and firm alliance with Spain, (their territories bordering) and who being united, will be able, not only to preserve their own people in peace, but to repel the force of all the other powers in Europe. It seems, therefore, prudent on both sides to cultivate a good understanding, that may hereafter be so useful to both; towards which a fair foundation is already laid in our minds, by the well-founded popular opinion entertained here of Spanish integrity and honour. I hope my presumption in hinting this will be pardoned. If in any thing on this side the globe I can render either service or pleasure to your Royal Highness, your commands will make me happy. With the utmost esteem and veneration, I have the honour to be your Serene Highness's, most obedient, and most humble servant, B. FRANKLIN.
To Dr. PRIESTLEY.
Paris, Jan. 27, 1777.
I received your very kind letter of February last, some time in September. Major Carleton, who was so kind as to forward it to me, had not an opportunity of doing it sooner. I rejoice to hear of your continual progress in those useful discoveries; I find that you have set all the philosophers of Europe at work upon fixed air; and it is with great pleasure I observe how high you stand in their opinion; for I enjoy my friends' fame as my own.
The hint you gave me jocularly, that you did not quite despair of the philosopher's stone, draws from me a request, that when you have found it, you will take care to lose it again; for I believe in my conscience that mankind are wicked enough to continue slaughtering one another as long as they can find money to pay the butchers. But of all the wars in my time, this on the part of England appears to me the wickedest; having no cause but malice against liberty, and the jealousy of commerce. And I think the crime seems likely to meet with its proper punishment: a total loss of her own liberty, and the destruction of her own commerce.
I suppose you would like to know something of the state of affairs in America. In all probability we shall be much stronger the next campaign than we were in the last; better armed, better disciplined, and with more ammunition. When I was at the camp before Boston,'
! In October 1775.