Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to the Baron de Servières, 8 February 1780

To the Baron de Servières

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Feb. 8. 1780.


I never say or heard of the Book you mention.8 If such a Work has been published in England, undoubtedly you may obtain it by sending thither for it. Having never lived in that Part of america where Tobacco grows, I know nothing of its Cultivation. If I could give you any material Information on the subject, I should do it readily and chearfully. I have the honour to be sir, &c.

Mr. Servrere a Hesdin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8On Feb. 4 Servières, an author, member of several learned societies, and sous-lieutenant of cavalry in the Orléans regiment (Etat militaire for 1779, p. 369), had asked BF’s help in procuring a publication on the cultivation of tobacco in Virginia that had appeared in England a few years previously. He needed it for a treatise on the comparative culture of tobacco that Necker had commissioned him to write. APS. Nothing we have found quite fits his description of the British publication; the closest is A Treatise on the Culture of the Tobacco Plant … (London, 1779), listed in William Bragge, ed., Bibliotheca Nicotiana: a First Catalogue of Books about Tobacco (n.p., 1874), p. 28. Quérard, France littéraire, mentions two works by Servières, but nothing on tobacco.

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