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Ben Franklin's "A Magic Square of Squares" plate...

Item # 688732

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July 01, 1768

THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, London, July, 1768  Page 2 has "Interesting Advices from America" with a Boston report beginning: "Last Friday fe'nnight the officers of the customers made a seizure of a sloop belonging to John Hancock..." with more, followed by other reports of troubles in America.
The ship Liberty was originally owned by Hancock. In 1768 British officials alleged that Bostonians locked a customs official in the Liberty's cabin while the cargo of Madeira wine was unloaded in an effort to evade the Townshend Acts. In retaliation the British government confiscated Liberty & it was towed away. Smuggling charges against Hancock were eventually dropped but Liberty remained confiscated.
On an inside page is an article titled: "Suprizing Properties of Numbers placed in Dr. Franklin's Magic Square of Squares" which is a fascinating article describing Benjamin Franklin's amazing numerical puzzle. There is also a full page engraving of this "Magic Square of Squares". More typically this plate is missing from the issue, but it is present.
Among various reports under the "Historical Chronicle" is an item noting: "Letters from Fort Pitt in America are full of joy on the success of the late congress held there for settling annually all difference with the Indian tribes in that quarter...the famous major Rogers has turned traitor to his country & is now in irons for a conspiracy in order to surprise several fortresses, to kill the commandants, plunder the garrisons,& desert to the enemy.".
Other articles include: "Observations on Insects Affecting Fruit Trees" "Hint for the Institution of Downing College" "The Gigantic Stature of the Patagonians Confirmed" & "French Claims on Newfoundland".
Rarely are Ben Franklin-related prints found in 18th century magazines.
The other plate called for: "Lord Chief Justice Mansfield" is present as well. 
Complete in 48 pages, 5 by 8 1/4 inches, full title/contents page featuring an engraving of St. John's Gate, 5 1/4 by 8 inches. 

A very nice pre-Revolutionary War magazine from the "mother country" with a wide range of varied content. This was the first periodical to use the word "magazine" in its title, having begun in 1731 and lasting until 1907.

Category: The 1600's and 1700's