DSDI Donation Means Historic Locke Book Available to the Public

DSDI has made it possible for the remarkable 1720 book of writings by English philosopher John Locke to be placed on public display.

DSDI provided an $1,800 donation in 2019 at the request of Independence National Historical Park.

Recently, during DSDI’s July Fourth celebration in Philadelphia, Lucy Duke Tonacci and her husband Mark viewed the book with Karie Diethorn, chief curator of Independence National Historical Park.

“I wanted DSDI to see what the book looked like and to learn more about it,” Tonacci said. “Making a donation was a wonderful way to promote our organization as we encourage the public to know more about us.”

The National Park Service was interested in having this book, “A Collection of Several Pieces of Mr. John Locke, never before printed,” meaning it was a first edition. In 1720, Benjamin Franklin would have been 14 years old as his thoughts developed in creating a new nation. He learned more then as an apprentice, printing for his brother in Philadelphia. It is likely that he had a copy similar to this book later in his sizeable library. The title page mentions that the book was “Printed…for R. Francklin” in an interesting coincidence.

The book was conserved and is now ready to be placed for the public to enjoy at the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia. It will be shown with a plaque announcing that it was donated from the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.