Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Ingenhousz, 2 September 1783

To Ingenhousz

ALS: Mrs. James A. de Rothschild, England (1962)

Dear Friend,

Inclos’d I send you a Copy of a Letter to Sir Joseph Banks, concerning the Ballons that at present occasion much Conversation here.8 I imagine that if you make one, and fill it with inflammable Air, you will contrive to fire it by Electricity when it is up, and by that means match in Report the Thunder of Nature.

To morrow is to be signed our Definitive Treaty, which establishes for the present the Peace of Europe & America. Long, long, may it continue!— Adieu. Yours most affectionately,

B Franklin

Dr Ingenhauss.—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8BF to Banks, Aug. 30[–Sept. 2], above. According to Ingenhousz’ reply of Nov. 19, 1783 (APS), BF also enclosed a print of the “allarm” of the peasants at Gonesse, where the balloon landed. “Allarme générale des habitants de Gonesse,” a print described in the Sept. 13 article on the Montgolfiers’ experiment in the Jour. de Paris, depicted a terrified populace attacking the semi-deflated balloon with pitchforks, guns, and stones, having been told by two monks that it was a monstrous animal. It is reproduced in François-Louis Bruel, Histoire aeronautique par les monuments peints, sculptés, dessinés et gravés des origines à 1830 (Paris, 1909), plate 30.

Ingenhousz’ Nov. 19 reply also indicated that BF forwarded a letter for him from Samuel Lewis Wharton, along with a bill of exchange for 8,000 l.t.

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