Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Brissot de Warville, 7 March 1782

From Brissot de Warville

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris 7. March [1782]


I have had the pleasure of seeing at my friend Mr. Marat’s experiments, a man Whom I admir’d a long While ago.6 I Would not speak to you, not to be indiscreet, about my Litterarys enterprises & the prospectus of my philosophical Biblioteck on the penal Laws, Which I sent to you a fortnight ago, With a Letter unanswer’d, for what I was much disappointed.7 The thir’d volume of that Biblioteck contains the acccount of american laws on the crimes, With a commentary. Will you be so good as to accept of the little discourse I have the honour of sending to you. It Belongeth to the same Matter. Un doubtedly, the object, if not the style, shall move your Concern & pity.

I am With the utmost respect your most humble & most obedient Servant

Brissot DE Warville
hotel mayence rue de Seine
près Le nore [notaire]

Notation: Brissot de Warvle 7 March

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Marat performed his experiments for BF on Monday, March 4; see Marat’s invitation of Feb. 14, and BF’s answer, March 1. Brissot noted in his memoirs that this was the only time he saw BF in Paris and that Volta was present at this meeting. BF reportedly praised Marat’s dedication, but did not think highly of his work on fire or electricity. Brissot also described having met WTF and BFB at the opening of Voltaire’s Irène in 1778, where he was surprised to see them wearing red-heeled shoes and carrying swords: Jacques-Pierre Brissot, Mémoires (1754–1793), ed. Claude Perround (2 vols., Paris, [1911]), I, 142, 201–2.

7See our annotation of his Dec. 22, 1781, letter, the only other one extant from this period.

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