Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Johann Reinhold Forster, 27 April 1782

From Johann Reinhold Forster3

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Halle in the Dutchy of Magdeburg April the 27th. 1782.


Permit me to introduce to Your acquaintance the Bearer Mr. Loder, first Physician to the Duke of Saxe Weimar a Man remarkable for his natural & acquired talents & one of the first Anatomists of our Germany.4 The happy moments which my Son5 has passed in Yr. company & the civilities You honoured him with as well as the condescendence & Kindness You are used to treat with, all Men of talents & Science let me hope a favourable reception for my Friend Loder, & will serve as An Apology, for the Liberty I presume to take on this occasion.

Give me leave at the same time to congratulate You, on the happy prospect of seeing Your Country at last acknowledged as independent by all Europe & Great Britain itself. The Satisfaction of seeing this great work so near a Conclusion at a general Pacification, must naturally contribute to Yr. happiness, who have had So great a share in the delivering Your Country from the Oppressions of a Set of despotick Men, then at the head of the British Administration. May providence shower down on You the choicest of her Blessings; is the sincere wish, together with the most respectuous regard, of Sir Your most obedt. humble Servant


His Excellency. Benj. Franklin. Esqr.

Notation: Foster, April 27. 1782.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3For this famous German naturalist see XV, 147–8, and XXVII, 181–2.

4Justus Christian von Loder (1753–1832) was named professor of anatomy, surgery, and obstetrics at Jena in 1778 and in 1781 became the personal physician to Karl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar. He made a study trip to Paris, London, and the Netherlands in 1782–83 and went on to have a distinguished medical career in both Germany and Moscow: Deutsche Biographische Enzyklopädie (12 vols., Munich, New Providence, and London, 1995), VI, 435–6; Neue Deutsche Biographie (20 vols. to date, Berlin, 1953–), XV, 7–10.

5Johann Georg Adam Forster: XXVII, 181.

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