Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Price, 2 August 1784

To Richard Price

ALS: Mrs. J. W. Williams, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland (1955)

Passy, Augt. 2. 1784.

My dear Friend,

I received your Favour of the 12th past with the Pamphlet of Advice to the Americans, for which I thank you much; it is excellent in itself, and will do us a great deal of Good. I communicated immediately to Mr Dupont the Letter of Mr Turgot, thinking him the properest Person to consult on the Subject, as he has the Care of the Papers left by that great Man.2 He sent me thereupon the Note enclos’d dated July 26.3 and this Day brought me the Proof corrected, which I enclose; and gave me his Opinion that the whole Letter may well be printed, even with the manuscript part at the End, you only adding a Note to the purpose of what he has written.4 He only desires two small Omissions, which are mark’d and the Place of the words omitted to be fill’d with Points or Stars, to show that something is omitted.5 It will be well to send him if you please a few Copies, & I wish to have two or three myself.

M. Dupont waits while I write, so that I cannot enlarge.6 I receiv’d the former Letter you mention, and purpose writing to you soon. My best Respects to Mrs Price, & believe me ever, with sincere and great Esteem, Dear Sir, Your most obedient humble Servt.

B Franklin

Revd Dr Price

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Du Pont de Nemours had published an account of Turgot’s life and works in 1782, which BF sent to James Hutton: XXXIX, 543. Du Pont was planning an edition of his friend’s works and correspondence, but the first volumes did not appear until 1809: Ambrose Saricks, Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours (Lawrence, 1965), pp. 74–5, 314–15.

3No copy of this has been located.

4Price did so: the footnote he appended to the final paragraph explained that he had kept the letter private during Turgot’s lifetime but now “thought the publication of it a duty which I owe to his memory, as well as to the United States and the world.” He added that BF and some of Turgot’s closest friends had concurred with his view: Price, Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution … (London, 1784), pp. 108–9.

5Neither passage occupied more than a single line. The first was Turgot’s erroneous statement that New Jersey required officeholders to profess their faith in Christ (Observations, p. 95). The second was Turgot’s assertion that Anglo-French hostility could lead to the bankruptcy of one nation or the other (p. 107). The deleted phrases are indicated in Peach and Thomas, Price Correspondence, 11, 4, 8.

6Price had suggested that BF entrust his reply to Mary Wilkes, who would be leaving Paris on Aug. 2: Price to BF, July 12, above.

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