Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, 15 June 1772

To Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours6

Reprinted from Albert H. Smyth, ed., The Writings of Benjamin Franklin … (10 vols., New York, 1905–07), V, 405–6.7

London, June 15, 1772.

Dear Sir,

I am much obliged to you for introducing me to the Knowledge of Mr. le Marquis d’Ecrammeville, who appears a very amiable Man, with an excellent Understanding.

Abraham Mansword’s Advice to his Countrymen is very good. I hope they will have more of it.8

Pray inform me by a Line, whether M. Le Roy has paid for the Ephemerides in my Behalf.9 If not, I will upon Sight discharge the amount, by paying your Draft upon me. And I request they may be continually sent me as long as you are concern’d in them.

Go on to do good with your inlighten’d Pen, and by instructing them and inciting them to Virtue deserve well of Mankind and of their common Father. With sincere and great Esteem, I am, my Dear Friend, Yours most affectionately,

B Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6See above, XV, 118 n.

7The letter, according to Smyth, was in the possession of Colonel H. A. DuPont; but it has not been located in either the Winterthur or Eleutherian Mills collections.

8The advice was revolutionary. Abraham Mansword was the nom de plume of Barbeu-Dubourg, who ostensibly translated two letters from a Philadelphian in the Pa. Chron. but actually composed them himself. The first discussed the fundamental laws, the second the constitution, that the American colonies should adopt when they became a federal republic. Ephémérides du citoyen, ou bibliothèque raisonnée des sciences morales et politiques, [V] (1771), tome 11, 76–112; tome 12, 7–45. These letters are described and summarized by Alfred O. Aldridge, who resurrected them from obscurity, in “Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg, a French Disciple of Benjamin Franklin,” APS Proc., XCV (1951), 366, 369–75. Dubourg’s assumption of impending American independence, as Aldridge points out, was remarkable in 1771; equally remarkable was BF’s attitude toward it.

9See Barbeu-Dubourg to BF above, May 31, and BF to du Pont de Nemours below, Aug. 12.

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