Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to the Duc de la Vrillière, [4 September 1772]

To the Duc de la Vrillière8

AL (draft): American Philosophical Society

[September 4, 17729]

It was with the greatest Pleasure I received the Information your Grace has condescended to give me of my Nomination by the King to fill a Vacancy in the Academy of Sciences as Associé etranger. I have a high Sense of the great Honour thereby conferr’d on me, and beg that my grateful Acknowledgments may be presented to his Majesty. With the greatest Respect I have the Honour to be &c.

Endorsed: M. Garnier Translation of my Letter to the Duc de la Vrilliere1

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Louis-Phelypeaux, comte de Saint-Florentin and duc de la Vrillière (1705–77), was a minister of the crown and president of the Académie royale des sciences; see Larousse, Dictionnaire universel, under Saint-Florentin. On Aug. 16 he had written the secretary of the Academy that after the death of Baron van Swieten, the Austrian doctor (above, XVIII, 165 n), the King had nominated BF to succeed him as a foreign associate: archives of the Academy, Paris. BF’s election was announced in the London Chron. of Aug. 22–25. He sent this acknowledgement on the advice of Pringle and LeRoy (below, p. 307), and later thanked the Academy itself: below, Nov. 16.

9The date, absent in the draft, is supplied from the French translation on the back, to which BF’s endorsement refers.

1Charles-Jean Garnier (1733–83?) probably succeeded de Francès as secretary to the French Ambassador, and in any case held that position for many years; see Butterfield, ed., John Adams Diary, II, 298. BF must have sought Garnier’s help because he was unsure of his own French, and then presumably copied the translation as his finished letter. It went by the abbé Morellet, who was returning from a whirlwind visit to England. See LeRoy to BF below, Sept. 30, and Morellet to BF above, under June 30.

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