By Wyatt Earp | April 25, 2009
Okay, this is a story that should interest every American.
LONDON, England — An American professor doing research in London stumbled across a series of previously unknown letters written by, to, and about Benjamin Franklin, a stunning find that sheds new light on early U.S. history.
The collection of 47 letters are hand-written copies made 250 years ago, when Franklin lived in London. That they were filed under the copyist’s name, not Franklin’s, may explain why they were overlooked by historians until now, said a curator at the British Library, where the letters are held.
47 hard-written copies of Benjamin Franklin letters. Do you have any idea what a blockbuster discovery this is?
The find is reported in the April issue of the William & Mary Quarterly, a journal of early American history and culture.
The letters are important in large part because they offer a “wealth of new details” that affect modern understanding of Franklin, writes Alan Houston, the political science professor who discovered the letters in the spring of 2007.
The letters cover Franklin’s success in dealing with British Gen. Edward Braddock, who had been sent to Pennsylvania in 1755 to defeat the French at Fort Duquesne, in modern-day Pittsburgh. (H/T – CNN)
Truly an incredible find. I cannot wait to read scans of them. Hopefully there are more letters available from the location.