Steele, Joshua (1700-1791)

Friend of Franklin in London.

Elected Member of the Society of Arts (1756). Interested in musical theory, he proposed to extend the system of musical notation to speech. Presented Franklin with a copy of his work, An Essay toward Establishing the Melody and Measure of Speech to be Expressed and Perpetuated by Peculiar Symbols (London, 1775).

Possessed estates in Barbados and was probably the principal author of The West- India Merchant. Being a Series of Papers Originally Printed Under that Signature in the London Evening Post … (London, 1778).

Settled in Barbados and began to manage his estates (1780). Founded the Bridgetown Society of Arts (1781) and undertook to reform the government of the island’s slave population.

Born in Ireland.