Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Jean-Baptiste Le Roy, [27 July 1783]

From Jean-Baptiste Le Roy

ALS: American Philosophical Society

[July 27, 1783]5

Voici une lettre Mon Illustre Docteur que M. Cassini Le Pere ma chargé de vous remettre.6 Votre present a été reçu hier à lAcadémie avec beaucoup de reconnoissance et il a été ordonné au Secrétaire de vous ecrire au Nom de la Compagnie pour vous en remercier.7

Le Jeune Dr Home dont je vous ai parlé hier et qui va a Veinne se chargera très volontiers de votre lettre pour M. Ingenhouz et sera bien flatté d’arriver chez lui porteur d’une pareille Lettre. C’est un jeune Médecin d’Ecosse de merite. Si vous comptez ou que votre temps vous le permette de lui donner cette lettre ayez la bonté de me l’envoyer parcequ’il doit envoyer chercher ce matin celles que j’ai écrites pour lui et que je lui ai promises.8 Recevez Mon Illustre Docteur mille nouvelles assurrances de tout mon attachement

Le Roy

L’homme a l’experience du ballon de 35 pieds de diamètre est arrivé et je compte vous le mener un de ces jours9

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin

Notation: Le Roy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5The date is certain, based on the conjuction of two clues: Le Roy’s allusion in the first paragraph to the Academy of Science’s receipt of BF’s gift on the previous day, and the postscript about the man who had performed an experiment with a balloon 35 feet in diameter. See the annotation below.

6César-François Cassini de Thury is identified in XXIX, 323–4, where we published his only known letter to BF—an undated note—at the earliest possible time. We now believe that his letter was written on July 26, 1783, and was the one Le Roy is here forwarding. Written from the Académie des sciences, Cassini de Thury asked BF for a copy of the work that Le Roy had just presented to the Academy (a work he viewed as BF’s), and promised to reciprocate with a work of his own, currently being printed. For BF’s donation see the following note; Cassini de Thury’s work was undoubtedly Description géometrique de la France (Paris, 1783).

7On July 26 the Académie des sciences received BF’s donation of Constitutions des treize Etats-Unis de l’Amérique and resolved to thank him. BF was not present at the meeting; Le Roy undoubtedly conveyed the volume: Académie des sciences, Procès-verbaux, CII, 159. Condorcet, secretary of the Academy, wrote the official letter of thanks on Aug. 20, below.

8The young doctor was most likely James Home (1760–1844), who earned his medical degree at Edinburgh University. In 1798 he succeeded his father, Francis Home, as professor of medicine there: ODNB. If Le Roy had asked BF for a letter of introduction to Ingenhousz for Home, as this letter seems to imply, there is no indication that BF ever wrote it.

9A reference to Etienne Montgolfier. The Montgolfiers’ demonstration at Annonay on June 4 was the only experiment involving a balloon with a diameter of 35 feet; see our headnote to BF to Banks, July 27.

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