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ftca, will shortly be opened; so that neither books nor instruments will be wanting; and as we are determined always to give good salatics, 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 inthis respect, and when you are settled in England, we may occasionally make use of your friendship and judgment.
"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 enioyments.
"I do not know whether you ever happened to see the first proposals I made for erecting this academy. I send them inclosed. 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."
"Philad. May, 3. I753. » Sir, "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 i 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 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.
* The name g-iran to the principal or head of the ideal college, the ■jritem of education in which hatb nevertheleae been nearly realized, or followed aa a nuclei, m the oollege and academe of Philadelphia, endaoine otter American lemioaiiei for aavcral /can put
"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. "B. FRANKLIN."
"Philad. JVot). 27,I753.
"DEAR SIR, I
"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 i( tan 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.
* Tlie quotation alluded to ( from the London Monthly Reriew for i749 ) wis iuJgeJ to reflect too sever*\j on the disciplme anii roverusnent of the Cnglish uoireniities of Oxford and Cambridge, ■thai was expunged from the folio wing ediuon, of till, work.
i' But good Mr. Collinson writes me word, that ntf endeavours of his shall be wanting; and he hopes with the archbishop's assistance, to be able to prevail with cor proprietors.* I pray God grant them sue . cess. ., jS
i' Mr son presents his affectionate regards, with, "Dear Sir, yours, &.c.
"P. S. I have not been favoured with a line from fou since your arrival in England."
"Philad. Afril I8,1754,
"I have had but one letter from you since your arrival in England, which was but a short one, via Boston, dated October 18th, acquainting me that you had written largely by Captain Davis.—Davis was lost, and with him your letters, to my great disappointment.—Mesunrd 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 ana affection,
« Mr. Smith. "B. FRANKLIN."
* Upon tLe application of Archbishop Herrmf and P. CoUintOft, Eeqr. it Dr. Fraoklm'e request (tided by the lettere of Mr Alio* iod Mr Peleri.) the honourable Thome, Penn, Keqr. eubeeribtd M annual rai, ud afterward, give at leaat 6000i. to tka fouiidilf erea.
era/Una; the college anno the -~#-ii'Mi ,
Ahuut a month after the date of this last letter, tne gentle.nan to whom it was addressed arrived in Philadelphia, and was immediately placed at the head of the seminary; whereby Dr. Franklin and the other trustees were enabled to prosecute their plan, for perfecting the institution, and opening the college upon the large and liberal foundation on which it now stands; for which purpose they obtained their additional charter, dated May 27th, 1755.
Thus far we thought it proper to exhibit in one view Dr. Franklin's services in the foundation and establishment of this seminary. He soon afterwards embarked for England, in the public service of his country; and having been generally employed Abroad, m the like service, for the greatest part of the remainder of his life (as will appear in our subsequent account of the same) he had but few opportunities of taking any further active part in the affairs of the seminary, until Ins fmal return in the rear I785, when he found its charters violated, and his ancient colleagues, the original founders, deprived of their trust, by an act of the legislature; and although his own name had been inserted amongst the new trustees, yet he declined to take his seat among them^or any concern in the management of their affairs, till the institution was restored by law to its original owners. He then assembled his old colleagues at his own house, and being chosen their president, all their future meetings, were at his request, held there, till within a few months of his death, when with reluctance, and at their desire, lest he might be too much injured by his attention to their business, he suffered them to meet at the college.
Franklin not only gave birth to many useful institutions himself, but he was also instrumental in promoting those which had originated with other men. About the year I752, an eminent physician of this City, Dr. Bond, considering the deplorable state of the poor, when visited with disease, conceived the idea of establishing an hospital. Notwithstanding very great exertions on his part, he was able to interest few people so far in his benevolent plan, as to obtain subscriptions from tiiem. Unwilling that hi* n-u -" should prove abortive, he sought the aid of Franklin, who readily engaged in the business, both by using his influence with his friends, and by stating the advantageous influence of the proposed institution in his paper. These efforts were attended with success. Considerable sums were subscribed; but they were still short of what was necessary. Franklin now made another exertion. He applied to the Assembly; and, after some opposition, obtained leave to bring in a bi 1I, specifying, that as soon as two thousand pounds were subscribed, the same sum should be drawn from the treasury by the speaker's warrant, to be applied to the purposes of the institution. The opposition, as the sum was granted upon a contingency, which they supposed would never take place, were silent, and the bill passed. The friends of the plan now redoubled their efforts, to obtain subscriptions to the amount stated in the bill, and were soon successful. This was the foundation of (he Pennsylvania Hospital, which, with the BetteringHouseand Dispensary, bears ample testimony of the humanity of the citizens of Philadelphia.
Dr. Franklin had conducted himself so well in the office of post-master, and had shown himself to be so well acquainted with the business of that department, that it was thought expedient to raise him to a more dignified station. In 1753 he was appointed deputy post-master general for the British colonies. The profits arising from the postage of letters formed no inconsiderable part of the revenue, which the crown of Great Britain derived from these colonies. In the hands of Franklin, it is said, that the post-office in America yielded annually thrice as much as that of Ireland.
The American colonies were much exposed to depredations on their frontiers by the Indians; and, more particularly, whenever a war took place between France and England. The colonies, individually, were either too weak to take efficient measures for their own defence, or they were unwilling to take upon themselves the whole burden of erectmg form and maintaining garnsm.is Inmm» their neighbours, who partook equally with themselves of the adv&uS•