Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790) to Samuel Adams, et al. re: British policy & the potential loss of the colonies

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC07651 Author/Creator: Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790) Place Written: London Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 15 May 1771 Pagination: 1 p. 31.5 x 17.5 cm

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Summary of Content: "History shows that by these Steps great Empires have crumbled heretofore; and the late Transactions we have so much Cause to complain of, show that we are in the same Train, and that without a greater Share of Prudence and Wisdom than we seem on both Sides to be possessed of, we shall probably come to the Same Conclusion" Includes only last page of original letter, along with a collateral transcript of the remainder.

Background Information: Signer of the U.S. Constitution.

People: Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790
Adams, Samuel, 1722-1803

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: American StatesmenGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsRevolutionary WarPolitics

Sub Era: Road to Revolution

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