Benjamin Franklin Letters Found

Check out this neat article from MSNBC on the recent discovery of a lost cache of Benjamin Franklin letters, turned up by a researcher in England.

Franklin (1706-1790), of course, was one of America’s founding fathers, a politician, scientist, inventor, statesman and more.  

The letters (47 in all) are actually copies that were made by an Englishman named Thomas Birch, and were probably part of what Franklin called his “quire book,” which described assistance he provided British General Edward Braddock in 1755 and Franklin later carried with him to England.  A political scientist and Franklin scholar named Alan Houston discovered them at the British Library in London in 2007.  

The story reminds me of the wonderful manuscript collections we have in the archives at the Greensboro Historical Museum and the treasures that await researchers using these collections.

If you’d like to learn more about Benjamin Franklin, I’m sure Greensboro Public Library has some books for you.  Try some of these recent titles:  The Life of Benjamin Franklin by J. A. Leo Lemay; Benjamin Franklin’s Numbers: An Unsung Mathematical Odyssey by Paul C. Pasles; Ben Franklin:  America’s Original Entrepreneur:  Franklin’s Autobiography Adapted for Modern Business by Blaine McCormick; The First Scientific American:  Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius by Joyce E. Chaplin; The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood; Benjamin Franklin:  An American Life by Walter Isaacson; Franklin:  The Essential Founding Father by James Srodes; Benjamin Franklin by  Edmund S. Morgan;  and Franklin on Franklin, edited by Paul M. Zall.


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