Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Berington, [after 13 December 1777]

From Joseph Berington5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

A L’Hotel de York Ruë Jacob
[after December 13, 17776]


I feel myself much disappointed in not having found you in Paris, as I had expected. Business, which brought me hither, renders it impossible for me to call on you at present. If I can steal a few hours before my return, I shall with pleasure wait on you. Our friend Dr. Priestley was so obliging as to recommend me to you. I send you his letter with his two last publications. When shall we see an end to this unnatural quarrel, which seems to threaten destruction to both nations! To unite is certainly a work more becoming the character of a real philosopher and a friend to mankind, than to disunite. I know you wish the former. Add, Sir, one thing more to the reputation, you have justly acquired, and that will complete it. Aim to reunite a divided and falling Empire. It is the common wish. I remain Sir with great respect your obedient humble Servant

Joseph Berington

Addressed: Dr. Franklin

Notation: Joseph Berington Paris

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5An English Catholic priest of liberal views; hence his friendship with Joseph Priestley. Berington (1746–1827) was beginning an extremely productive career as a writer on historical, philosophical, and theological subjects, during which he raised the hackles of conservative Catholics. DNB.

6He carried Priestley’s letter above of that date.

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