How was Charles Thomson introduced to Benjamin
Franklin?

While a student at the New London Academy, Thomson made the acquaintance of Dr. Franklin, and frequently sought his advice in regard to the prospects of a suitable vocation in Philadelphia. Being President of the Board of Trustees of his new Academy of Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin made use of the opportunity to secure a position for Thomson in the school. The Trustees of the Academy held a meeting on December 20, 1750, and the minutes contain the following notice in regard to Thomson:

“Mr. Charles Thomson having offered himself as a Tutor in the Latin and Greek School, and having been examined and approved of by the Rector, is admitted as a Tutor in the Latin and Greek School at the rate of sixty pounds a year, to commence on the seventh day of January next.”

InThe Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania” John F. Watson leaves this record of Charles Thomson for posterity:

“His first passion for Greek literature was induced, as he told me, by a seeming accident. Passing an auction store, he heard the crier proclaiming the sale of an ‘unknown, outlandish book.’ He bid a trifle for it and got it. It proved to be a part of the Greek Septuagint. When he had mastered it enough to understand it, his anxiety was extreme to see the whole; but he could find no copy, until, strange to tell, in the interval of two years, passing the same store and looking in, he actually saw the remainder selling off, when he joyfully bought it at a few pence. I used to tell him the ‘Translation’ which he made from that copy (the first, I believe in the English language), should have been furnished with the story as a proper subject for its preface. For this great work, on which he occupied himself so many years, is strangely enough without any introduction or advertisement to the reader. It wanted something of the kind, and a hint to the common English reader that it was a book of great authority in biblical elucidation. His modesty kept him from giving any preface…”

To learn more, click here. (Founders’ book)

 

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