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- Davy, Humphry, Sir, 1778-1829.
[Letter] 1802, [to] J. Tobin, Bristol / H[umphry] Davy.
Davy explains that Mr. Hutchinson has put off their departure until tomorrow; they will stop at Buxton, where he will call on Dr. Forrester, and at Matlock. Davy hopes that Tobin will meet him at either spot for fishing, and he asks Tobin to write to Coleridge who lives not far from Buxton and might join them. Davy mentions that Lord Stanhope has left town, and he discusses the controversy surrounding the experiments of Dr. Herchell. He closes with a plea that the "King of Hearts" will make an excursion to "meet us his old friends somewhere amidst the northern wilds" and adjures him to give up philosophy, experimenting, love, and money to spend a few days among the beauties of nature. Tobin was an old friend of Davy's; his son James accompanied Davy on the last journey of his life and was with him when he died. One of the first professional scientists, Davy studied many areas of natural history including chemistry, agriculture, and electricity; he was friends with Coleridge and Wordsworth and mentored Michael Faraday, whose letters are represented in the collection. He was president of the Royal Society, won the Copley medal the year this letter was written, founded the London Zoo and the Athenaeum, and developed a safety lamp for miners.
- Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870.
[Letter] 1854 January 16, Tavistock House, London [to] William De Cerjat, Lausanne, Switzerland / Charles Dickens.
This letter was first published by Mary Dickens and Georgina Hogarth in the very first collection of The Letters of Charles Dickens (1880-1882, 3 vols); presumably they were either lent or given the letter by Mrs. de Cerjat or her daughters; Cerjat himself died in 1870. The text also appears in the Pilgrim Edition of The Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 7, pp. 249-50, published Clarendon Press, Oxford. The differences between the published text and the manuscript on the whole are small, mostly changes in capitalization and punctuation--commas replacing dashes for instance; but there is one significant exception. One sentence was omitted, obviously for political reasons: "There is great talk about Prince Albert's interference in foreign politics, and the queen is supposed to be undecided whether to open Parliament in person or not: fearing his present unpopularity." Although Prince Albert had died in 1861, Queen Victoria (who lived until 1902), had apparently never recovered from his death, though by this time she had returned to her public duties to a certain extent--Mary Dickens and Georgina Hogarth would not want to publish anything which might be construed as criticism of the Prince.
Margaret Brown & Angus Easson / Editors, The Letters of Charles Dickens
- Faraday, Michael, 1791-1867; Faraday, Sarah, 1800-1879.
[Letter] 1856 May 10, Folkstone, [Kent, England] [to] Miss Moone / M[ichael]. Faraday.
The bulk of the letter is written by Sarah Faraday, with a note appended by her husband Michael Faraday, thanking Miss Moone for her letter and stating that they are "very comfortable." Sarah explains that "it was not a cold but a long continued headache" which prompted Dr. Bence Jones to urge them to go to Folkstone; Sarah avers that "which I knew by experience was the only thing to do my dear husband good." She lauds country living as having "room to move about and pleasant companions [her two nieces]." In June of 1821, Faraday married Sarah Barnard (1800-1879), daughter of the Sandemanian silversmith Edward Barnard (1767-1855); evidence suggests that Sarah assisted Faraday in his duties, and though they had no children, two nieces lived with them in the Royal Institution for extended periods. A philosopher as well as a scientist, Faraday experimented with electricity, chemistry, radiation, and physics. Sir Humphrey Davy, whose influence secured Faraday his first position as a laboratory assistant at the Royal Institution, was his mentor, and his contemporary John Tyndall (whose work, along with Davy's, is also represented in the collection) wrote Faraday's biography in 1872.
- Field, Cyrus W.; Harris, Philip D.
[Letter] 1877 July 6, New York [to] Mr. E. Jacobs / Cyrus Field; Philip D. Harris.
Harris communicates that Field has desired him to list his involvement in the following attempts to lug a cable across the Atlantic in response to Jacobs' query. The attempts were made in 1857, 1858, 1865, and 1866. The first was unsuccessful, the second was successful but the cable only worked for a month and then was abandoned; on the third attempt, the cable broke after more than half was laid, and on the final attempt, the cable was successfully laid after 14 days of labor.
- Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790.
[Letter] 1764 June 7, Philadelphia (Pa.) [to] William Strahan / B. Franklin [Benjamin Franklin].
Franklin acknowledges receiving the sender's favor and promises to answer fully. Franklin asks the sender to find out if he's slighted by William Becket so that he can amend for any fault he may have committed. Franklin mentions that he left receipts for subscription money for books, particularly Stewart's Athens. He closes with a remark at the bottom of the sheet, "We are all well, and as happy as other Folks for the present." At the time this letter was written, Franklin was appointed the agent of Pennsylvania in London (1757-62, 1764-75); prior to assuming these duties, he served as the clerk of the Pennsylvania general assembly (1736-50), postmaster of Philadelphia (1737), delegate to the Continental Congress (1775-76), signer of the Declaration of Independence, and president of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention (1776). In addition, due to his scientific experiments, Franklin was also made a member of the Royal Society. Before involving himself in politics, Franklin had a career as a Philadelphia printer, founder of the Pennsylvania Gazette (1728) and the popular Poor Richard's Almanac (1732). Later in life he was president of the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and the Minister to France (1776-85).
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