Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Bachelier, 9 June 1777

From Bachelier

AL: American Philosophical Society

Ce 9 Juin 1777.

M. Bachelier a l’honeur de presenter ses Respects a Monsieur frankelin et le prie de Remettre Le memoire sur Le cours d’arts et métier si la Copie est Faite6 il lui sera bien oblige.

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur frankelin / chez mr Le Ray de / chaumont / a Passy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6The sentence, we believe, was meant to end here. BF copied the memorandum himself, and labeled it “Mr. Bachelier’s Proposal.” APS. It argues that the true source of a nation’s wealth is not agriculture or mines of gold and silver but industry, which depends on arts and crafts; the artists, because they cannot be successfully imported, must be home-grown through educating the young. At that point the memorandum shifts from French to English: “The Author if he could have as good Encouragement in America as in France would undertake to instruct &c. during 6 Years, and in that time would introduce the Manufactures of fine Earthen Ware, and silk Stuffs, and other useful Arts; And even procure useful Hands proper.” Here the MS breaks off, perhaps because of Bachelier’s request to have back the original. BF’s papers in the Hist. Soc. of Pa. contain another and much longer memorandum on the same subject, entitled “Supplément à L’éducation.” It is undated and in a hand we cannot identify, makes no mention of Bachelier or America, and ends with the prospectus of a course in arts and crafts.

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