Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Epp, 2 July 1778: résumé

From Charles Epp

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Altorff,1 July 2, 1778: The English are making a huge mistake in trying to fight a war overseas, especially against people as civilized as they are. Your leaders show wisdom in waiting for the enemy to overextend their supply lines. The danger for your country will begin after victory, when national consensus breaks down. My advice is not to give too much play to popular will, so easily manipulated by the ambitious. My own experience in the Swiss cantons2 has shown me that, for all their defects, the aristocratic ones are better governed than the democratic, since brotherly love is an unrealistic notion. Please consider my remarks as coming from a wellwisher.3>

1A small town in the canton of Uri.

2He signs himself “procureur au canton d’Uri.”

3BF’s endorsement reads: “Charles Epp Swiss; his Remarks on republican Govermts Alsorff 2 juillet 1778.”

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