Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Rush, 18 September 1783

To Benjamin Rush2

ALS: Yale University Library

Passy, Sept. 18. 1783.—

Dear Doctor,

M. du Trône,3 who will have the Honour of presenting you this Line, is recommended to me by very respectable Persons, as a young Gentleman of excellent Character, who goes to America with Views of residing there some Years, and practising Chemistry. I beg leave to recommend him to your Protection and good Counsels, and to those Civilities you delight in showing to Strangers of Merit. With great Esteem, I am ever, my dear Friend, Yours most affectionately

B Franklin

Dr Benja. Rush

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2This letter of introduction and the one to RB of Sept. 23 were written at the request of an unnamed woman acting on behalf of a certain Le Roy whose letter to her, unsigned as well as undated, is now among BF’s papers. (We identified him by the handwriting, which matches that of the Nov. 29 letter on the same subject written by Le Roy to BF.) In this letter, dated only “ce dimanche,” Le Roy sends regrets that an important meeting will prevent his seeing the woman on Wednesday, and asks her to solicit from BF a letter of recommendation to someone in Philadelphia for a young doctor of his acquaintance, an honest, well-educated man named du Trône who plans to spend “une dixaine d’années en Amerique pour y exercer un employ de chimiste.” This doctor does not ask for favors, only a letter that will allow him to be received in good company. APS.

3This was probably Jacques-François Dutrône de La Couture (1749–1814), the docteur en médecine who went to Saint-Domingue in 1784 to study the sugar-cane industry, evidently at the request of Minister of the Marine Castries, and devised an improved method of processing cane based on extensive chemical analyses. In 1788 he sent his treatise on sugar cane and his processing method to Castries’ successor, César-Henri de La Luzerne, who submitted it to the Academy of Sciences for examination. The work was published with their enthusiastic approbation the following year, and went through several editions: DBF; Dutrône de La Couture, Précis sur la canne et sur les moyens d’en extraire le sel essentiel … (Paris, 1789); Académie des sciences, Procès-verbaux, CVII (1788), 136. Dutrône’s methods are summarized in Joseph Needham et al., Science and Civilisation in China (7 vols. to date, Cambridge, 1954–), VI, part III, 473.

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