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Tell me where the Docks are: whether there
are any at Archangel: any at Woronitz, as
there were in Peter's time: or whether they are
now transferred to Azoph or any other place
in the Black Sea? Are there any at Astracan?
Would they like to have one there or elsewhere in the Caspian? & would
you like to have the making of it? En tout
if you are to run up & down the country
you should have travelling charges over & above
your salary.

Anderson has just given in to the Royal
Society a paper about Potatoes. He has fermented
them and distilled an ardent Spirit from
them which he insists upon it is fully equal
to French Brandy. It is free from the nauseous
flavour of the malt, and it has besides a
fine flavour of its own (he says) like Raspberries.
He is this instant making some & if the experiment
succeeds, you will have some of it with
the first cargo. He recommends the culture of Potatoes
for this purpose. I asked him how much
spirit might be got from an acre of Potatoes
in comparison of what might be got from an
acre of wheat? His answer was ten times as
much. It seemed to me a good opportunity
for you to figure away at your oeconomic
society and show that you are not an idle
member. He gets about a gallon from 1/2 a 100
of potatoes. The fermentation is just begun:
but it will be a fortnight before it is completed.
I proposed to him that he should get
a copy of his paper taken and give it to me
to send it to you, adding that I would undertake
for your getting it translated into French
& publishing it in giving it in his name. This I make
no doubt you will be glad to do. You may
add as your motive for wishing to have it
public there, your own idea that Potatoes would

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might be an advantageous object of allure in many parts
of the Russian Empire in which Barley would not
succeed well: for as there is nothing to ripen above
ground, and the roots may be taken up as
soon as the frost begins, in short at any time
The short and hot summers violent & short lived trials of northern countries
would suit them very well. Potatoes are
among the very few plants which are cultivated
even in Iceland, where the summers
too ar (owing to the quantities of ice mountains
that are drawn upon the coast) are seldom
hot. (See Letters on Iceland p.41) at the
same time that no corn will grow there.
ib. p. 47. These letters on Iceland are just
published here: they contain an account
of Bank's & Solander's visit to that island
in 1772 or 1773 by a Dr Proil a Swede
who was of the party; with Bergman's analysis
of some of the earths they collected
there. It is indifferently enough rendered into
English by some foreigner. Swede fancies that
it is Solander: having been told that upon
somebody's speaking slightly of it t'other day
when Solander was in company he seemed
wonderfully chop-fallen, & scarce spoke a
syllable afterwards.

Before you give the paper in however
inform yourself what case is made of Potatoes
there, whether they are in use to distill
a spirit from them: lest you should be
carrying coals to Newcastle. Anderson
says it is best not to use it solely but
to put the value of a glass of it to a
large bowl of punch.

There is just come out here an invention
that will make you and every body
who has ever so slight a notion of chemistry
wonder that they had never lit upon
it themselves. It is for taking a copy of any
thing you write. Take some thin paper you have like this

Identifier: | JB/539/049/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 539.



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Jeremy Bentham



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