Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vicq d’Azyr, [after 15 October 1778]

To Vicq d’Azyr1

AL (draft): American Philosophical Society

[after October 15, 1778]


I received the Copies of the Charter, and the Tickets which you so obligingly sent me, in behalf of the Royal Society. I am extreamly sensible of the great Honour they have done me, in placing me at the Head of their foreign Members; and I shall not fail to attend their Meeting of the 20th Instant, which they so kindly invite me to.2

1In answer to his invitation above, before this date.

2BF originally wrote, and then deleted, “not only their Meeting of the 20th Instant, which they so kindly invite me to, but as many as I may of their subsequent Meetings during my Residence in France; being persuaded from the known Characters and Abilities of the Members that much Knowledge of the most useful kind may be gathered from their Communications. I have the Honour to be with great Respect, Sir.”

Not everyone was so pleased with BF’s appointment. Writing to his brother Arthur on Oct. 18, William Lee remarked, “Notwithstanding the late affectation of throwing aside the title of Doctor, I see your neighbor at P[ass]y is among the list of M.D.’s lately incorporated by his most Christian Majesty for examining and licensing all quack medicines.” Ford, Letters of William Lee, II, 505.

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