London Library Yields Lost Ben Franklin Letters

Missives document his attempt to help Brits fight the French
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2009 3:40 PM CDT
An American professor doing research in London stumbled across a series of previously unknown letters written by, to, and about Benjamin Franklin.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – More than two centuries after his death, Benjamin Franklin has more stories to tell, CNN reports. An American professor conducting research in London unearthed facsimiles of 47 letters the Founding Father wrote and received when he lived there 250 years ago. “I just about shot through the ceiling I was so excited,” said political science professor Alan Houston. “It’s like finding a treasure chest.”

The epistolary jewels recount Franklin’s attempts to help the British battle the French in modern-day Pittsburgh in 1755. He persuaded farmers to lend their horses and wagons to transport 2,000 redcoats, about half of whom were soon slaughtered. But the "wagon affair" showed off Franklin's leadership skills, Houston said. The collection is now cataloged and available for history buffs.