When Benjamin Franklin adopted John Bartram's 1739 idea of bringing together the qvirtuosiq of the colonies to promote inquiries into qnatural secrets, arts a syances, q the result was, in 1743, the founding of the American Philosophical Society. Whitfield J. Bell, Jr. records the early years of the Society through sketches of its first members, those elected between 1743 a 1769. Volume 1 includes biographies of some of the Society's best known members such as Franklin, David Rittenhouse, John Bartram, Benjamin Rush, John Dickinson, Thomas Hopkinson a many lesser known merchants, artisans, farmers, physicians, lawyers a clergymen with familiar surnames such as Biddle, Colden, a Morris. A history of this earliest society a its offshoots before 1769, the Young Junto a the American Society for Promoting a Propagating Useful Knowledge, are also included. These sketches, written over several decades, represent in Whitfield J. Bell's words, qthe first systematic attempt to collect a preserve data on the lives of [the Society's first] membersq a add much to our knowledge of the history a culture of eighteenth-century America.... the Efficacy of which will be demonstrated by such indubitable Proofs from Experience, as have not yet been exhibited to the World. ... The Use and Application of this most surprizing natural Power to the important Purposes of Navigation will be shewn; the Defects of the common Sea-Compasses will be particularly considered and demonstrated; and the latest Improvements which the celebrated Dr.
|Author||:||Whitfield Jenks Bell|
|Publisher||:||American Philosophical Society - 1997|