Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Hutton, 15 April 1779

From James Hutton

ALS: American Philosophical Society

April 15 1779

My dear old Friend

I took courage & went this morning to Versailles to Mr de Sartine who immediately did all I desired. I now therefore can go on my Journey with chearfulness, & thankfulness to you for your kindness to my people & to me. I am sure your giving me that Protection had the wished for Effect here. How many obligations have I & my People in America to you!

It is a hardship for my Heart that Circumstances have not allowed me to visit you. I am glad I saw you that Evening at Mr Grant’s.4

I was proud of the general approbation I heard at different places given to your Paper read yesterday. You will remember Mr Spangenberg desired you should be consulted on the Aurora Borealis by Mr Crantz several years ago. I think 1769.5

I hope this Paper will be printed.

I go from Paris to Lyons April 22. In order to have a good place in the Diligence, I book it to day.

I shall always remember your Civilities & kindness to Dear Sir yr much obliged & obedient


My Comps. to your kind Landlord & his Family & yours. I go into the Country on Saturday & Sunday next to the Valley of Montmorency.

Addressed: To / Dr Franklin / Passy.

Notation: Hutton 15. April 79

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Ferdinand Grand: XXV, 413n.

5Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg had been the leader of the Moravian community at Bethlehem from 1735 until his return to Germany in 1762: VI, 362n. Among BF’s papers at the APS is an undated manuscript entitled “Mr Crantz’s Reflections on the Aurora Borealis”; it elaborates on David Crantz, The History of Greenland … (2 vols., London, 1767), I, 47–50. See also XX, 288n.

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