THE RARE BOOK AND
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48 Samuel Johnson 1709-1784
Autograph letter to William Samuel Johnson, 3 p.
London, March 4, 1773
Although several letters are believed to have passed between Samuel Johnson, English lexicographer and writer, and William Samuel Johnson (1727-1819), the American scholar, diplomat, signer of the Constitution, and a president of Columbia College, this letter is the only one known to have survived. During the years 1766 to 1771, William Samuel Johnson was Agent for the Colony of Connecticut in London; the two men met, apparently at the behest of Samuel Johnson, who in this letter writes that although "there is scarce any man whose acquaintance I have more desired to cultivate than yours...the current of the day always bore us away from one another." The letter also contains Dr. Johnson's brief comments on contemporary politics and literature, and on the projected attempt to sail to the North Pole.
Gift of the descendants of William Samuel Johnson

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