Front Page Titles (by Subject) XC: TO JOHN PERKINS 1 - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. II Letters and Misc. Writings 1735-1753
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XC: TO JOHN PERKINS 1 - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. II Letters and Misc. Writings 1735-1753 
The Works of Benjamin Franklin, including the Private as well as the Official and Scientific Correspondence, together with the Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography, compiled and edited by John Bigelow (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). The Federal Edition in 12 volumes. Vol. II (Letters and Misc. Writings 1735-1753).
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TO JOHN PERKINS1
Philadelphia, 13 August, 1752.
I received your favor of the 3d instant. Some time last winter I procured from one of our physicians an account of the number of persons inoculated during the five visitations of the small-pox we have had in twenty-two years; which account I sent to Mr. W. V., of your town, and have no copy. If I remember rightly, the number exceeded eight hundred, and the deaths were but four. I suppose Mr. V. will show you the account, if he ever received it. These four were all that our doctors allow to have died of the small-pox by inoculation, though I think there were two more of the inoculated who died of the distemper; but the eruptions appearing soon after the operation, it is supposed they had taken the infection before in the common way.
I shall be glad to see what Dr. Douglass may write on the subject. I have a French piece printed at Paris, 1724, entitled Observations sur la Saignée duPied, et sur la Purgation, au Commencement de la Petite Vérole, et Raisons de doubte contre l’Inoculation. A letter of the Doctor’s is mentioned in it. If he or you have it not, and desire to see it, I will send it. Please to favor me with the particulars of your purging method, to prevent the secondary fever.
I am indebted for your preceding letter, but business sometimes obliges one to postpone philosophical amusements. Whatever I have wrote of that kind are really, as they are entitled, but Conjectures and Suppositions; which ought always to give place, when careful observation militates against them. I own I have too strong a penchant to the building of hypotheses; they indulge my natural indolence. I wish I had more of your patience and accuracy in making observations, on which alone true philosophy can be founded. And, I assure you, nothing can be more obliging to me than your kind communication of those you make, however they may disagree with my preconceived notions.
I am sorry to hear, that the number of your inhabitants decreases. I some time since wrote a small paper of Thoughts on the Peopling of Countries,1 which, if I can find, I will send you, to obtain your sentiments. The favorable opinion you express of my writings may, you see, occasion you more trouble than you expected from,
Sir, yours, &c.,