Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jean-Louis de Lolme, 26 November 1781

From Jean-Louis de Lolme8

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris, Nov. 26. 1781 Hôtel de Portugal rue de Mail


The last time I was in Paris I did myself the honour to call at Passy, in order to pay my respects to you, when I was not so fortunate as to meet you: as I should be extremely sorry to experience now the same disappointment, I take the liberty to acquaint you with my being in Paris, and should be very happy if you would condescend to inform me of the properest time for me to call at your house, supposing you think proper to receive my visit.

I send you inclosed the proposals of the periodical paper I prepare to publish:9 the reason of my coming to Paris, is to procure the admission of it in France: this is a favour not very easy to be obtained; though I have received some encouragement from a person well able to make me succeed.1

I have the honour to be with very great respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servant

J L DeLolme

Notation: De Lolme 26. Nov. 1781.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The Genevan who had moved to London in 1768 and made his reputation with a description of the English political system, first published in Amsterdam in 1771 as Constitution de l’Angleterre. … Living always on the edge of poverty, he had an acute intelligence that expressed itself in science as well as political theory and history. In 1773 BF commissioned him to translate Beccaria’s Elettricismo artificiale …, a work that contemporaries characterized as barely comprehensible: XX, 355–6; XXVI, 65–6n. For de Lolme see Gent. Mag., LXXVII (1807), 484–5; Jean-Pierre Machelon, Les Idées politiques de J. L. de Lolme (1741–1806) (Paris, 1969).

9Le Journal d’Angleterre, a review of articles from the principal London newspapers: Jean Roget, Les Affaires de Genève, 1780–1783: Lettres de Jean Roget … (Geneva, Basel, and Paris, 1911), pp. 104–5; Memoirs of the Life of Sir Samuel Romilly, written by Himself … (3 vols., London, 1840), I, 197; Machelon, Les Idées politiques …, pp. 30–1.

1Possibly the banker and philanthropist Etienne Delessert (1735–1816), who entertained de Lolme during his stay at Paris: Roget, Lettres de Jean Roget …, p. 141.

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