Mrs Jane Mecom, Her Book • 1769

Benjamin Franklin. Experiments and observations on electricity, made at Philadelphia in America, by Benjamin Franklin, L.L.D. and F.R.S. To which are added, letters and papers on philosophical subjects. The whole corrected, methodized, improved, and now first collected into one volume. London: Printed for David Henry; and sold by Francis Newberry, MDCCLXIX.

Benjamin Franklin. Experiments and observations on electricity, made at Philadelphia in America, by Benjamin Franklin, L.L.D. and F.R.S. To which are added, letters and papers on philosophical subjects. The whole corrected, methodized, improved, and now first collected into one volume. London: Printed for David Henry; and sold by Francis Newberry, MDCCLXIX. Call number: (Ex) QC516 .F852 copy 2.

“Franklin sent his sister a copy from London on February 23, 1769, writing, ‘There has lately been a new Edition of my philosophical Papers here. I send Six Copies to you, which I desire you would take care to have delivered as directed. There is one for your Trouble.’ Jane’s copy of this edition is housed at [the] Princeton [University] Library. It is inscribed ‘[Mrs] Jane Mecom, Her Book.” [Franklin biographer, Carl] Van Doren probably acquired this book in the 1930s; it went to Princeton with Van Doren’s papers following his death in 1950.” — Jill Lepore, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (New York: Knopf, 2013), p. 315 (part of ‘Appendix F. Jane’s Library,’ p.312 to 323)

Jill Lepore adds “I have been able to locate five volumes inscribed with her name: … [Experiments being one of the five] … I have no reason to suppose these five volumes are the same five volumes found in her house at her death. Her letters reveal her to have either owned or read a wealth of books, magazines, and newspapers …” (p.313)

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