Lot #171
Benjamin Franklin Partial Third-Person Autograph Letter Signed

Franklin writes to America's first great botanist: "I have sent over some Seed of Naked Oats, and some of Swiss Barley, 6 rows to an Ear"
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Estimate: $2500+

Description

Franklin writes to America's first great botanist: "I have sent over some Seed of Naked Oats, and some of Swiss Barley, 6 rows to an Ear"

Partial third-person ALS, with his surname written within the text, "Franklin," one page, 7.75 x 2, [January 1769]. The handwritten postscript of a letter from Ben Franklin to botanist John Bartram, in full: "P.S. Jan. 28. The Box is delivered according to Mr. Mich. Collinson's Directions, at Lord Bute's. Mr. Collinson takes it amiss that you did not write to him. I have sent over some Seed of Naked Oats, and some of Swiss Barley, 6 rows to an Ear. If you would choose to try some of it, call on Mrs. Franklin." In very good to fine condition, with light staining to the left edge, and show-through from writing on the reverse (evidently a list of plants or crops, likely written by Bartram).

The complete text of this letter—concerning a 'box directed to the King' and a proposed 'Natural History of our country'—is transcribed as part of Franklin's collected papers. The recipient, John Bartram, was described by taxonomist Carl Linnaeus as the 'greatest natural botanist in the world.' He founded 'Bartram's Garden,' considered to be the first botanic garden in the United States, at his Philadelphia home in 1728. A unique piece of correspondence, demonstrating Franklin's scientific interests.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Sports
  • Dates: #614 - Ended August 11, 2021





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