America’s first hospital, founded by Benjamin Franklin
FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. Some Account of the Pennsylvania Hospital; From its First Rise, to the Beginning of the Fifth Month, called May, 1754
Philadelphia: B. Franklin and D. Hall, 1754
4to. Fine olive green morocco gilt by the Club Bindery. Minor repairs. A fine copy. Marbled paper slipcase.
FIRST EDITION of Benjamin Franklin’s account of the Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital established in the British colonies, co-founded by Franklin with his friend Dr. Thomas Bond. It remains a leading medical institution in Philadelphia.
Franklin’s Account is “a record of one of his and Philadelphia’s noblest civic achievements; and from its magnificent opening paragraph to its final moving appeal, it is, in Carl Van Doren’s words, ‘an example of homespun splendor hardly to be matched in the English language’” (Franklin Project).
“Franklin was a prime force in founding the institution, its first secretary, and later chairman of its trustees. In his Autobiography he wrote that he could remember no maneuver the success of which gave him at the time more pleasure than that of persuading the citizens and assembly to contribute matching funds to start the hospital initially” (Miller).
Written and printed by Franklin at the request of the Hospital trustees, the Account “describes the plan on which the hospital was founded, rules for admission, rules for the choice of staff, and an ‘Abstract of Cases Admitted’” (Streeter).
Provenance: John Camp Williams, with his bookplates, his sale, American Art Association, November 6, 1929, lot 49.
Evans 7197. Miller, Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia printing, 1728-1766: A descriptive bibliography 587.