FRANKLIN, Benjamin (1706-1790). Autograph letter signed ("B. Franklin") to Henry Home, Lord Kames ('My dear Friend'), London, 21 February 1769.
FRANKLIN, Benjamin (1706-1790). Autograph letter signed ("B. Franklin") to Henry Home, Lord Kames ('My dear Friend'), London, 21 February 1769.
FRANKLIN, Benjamin (1706-1790). Autograph letter signed ("B. Franklin") to Henry Home, Lord Kames ('My dear Friend'), London, 21 February 1769.
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PROPERTY FROM THE ROGER D. JUDD COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL LETTERS, DOCUMENTS & MANUSCRIPTS
FRANKLIN, Benjamin (1706-1790). Autograph letter signed ("B. Franklin") to Henry Home, Lord Kames, London, 21 February 1769.

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FRANKLIN, Benjamin (1706-1790). Autograph letter signed ("B. Franklin") to Henry Home, Lord Kames, London, 21 February 1769.

Three pages, 225 x 188mm (partial fold separations repaired), with the original transmittal leaf addressed in his hand (losses from seal tear and backed with paper).

Franklin foresees American Independence: "Things daily wear a worse Aspect, and tend more and more to a Breach and final Separation" Franklin opens thanking Kames for his “excellent Paper on the preferable Use of Oxen in Agriculture and have put it in the way of being communicated to the Public here. I have observed that the Farmers are more thriving in those Parts of the Country where Cattle are used, than in those where the Labour is done by Horses. — The latter are said to require twice the Quantity of Land to maintain them”. He then states [mistakenly!], that the Children of Israel were forbidden by God to use Horses, mentioning only the ox and the ass when passing down his laws.

Franklin then gives his views as a political economist, influenced by the French Physiocrats, for measuring the value of labour, “Food is always necessary to all, and much the greatest Part of the Labour of Mankind is employ'd in raising Provisions for the Mouth. Is not this kind of Labour therefore the fittest to be the Standard by which to measure the Values of all other Labour, and consequently of all other things whose Value depends on the Labour of making or procuring them?” Comparing farmers with miners, the one producing bushels of wheat, the other silver, he states that “the Miner must eat, the Farmer indeed can live without the Silver, and so perhaps will have some Advantage in settling the Price.” Franklin congratulates Kames on having been elected President of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh, and proudly relates his own election as President of the newly founded American Philosophical Society. He ends by sending Kames a copy of his important lost letter of 1767 "concerning the American Dispute" (See lot 108). Subscribed 'With the sincerest Esteem & Regard, I am, my dear Friend, Yours most affectionately'. Published in The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. L. W. Labaree, vol. 16 pp. 46-48. Provenance: sold by the descendants of Lord Kames, Christie's, 29 June 1995, lot 514.
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