Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Chrétien-Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, [before 18 February 1778]

From Chrétien-Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes5

AL: American Philosophical Society

[Before February 18, 1778?6]

Mr. de Malesherbes prie Monsieur franklin de luy faire l’honneur de diner chés luy mecredy 18 fevrier.

Rue des martires près montmartre

R S V P Monsieur!

Addressed: Monsieur / Monsieur franklin / Passy / [in another hand:] Vis avis le Gardemeuble de / la Couronne rue Royale

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5This is, if we guess the date correctly, the first direct word we have found from one of the major legal figures of the ancien régime. BF had first met him when visiting Paris in 1769, and considered him a particular friend: above, XVI, 207; XIX, 372 n. No concrete evidence has come to light that they were in touch during the first year of the French mission, but we are convinced that they were. Malesherbes apparently participated in the discussion of taxation between Turgot and BF, which we have tentatively assigned to July, 1777 (above, XXIV, 261–2), and in all likelihood contributed ideas of his own; see Pierre Grosclaude, Malesherbes, témoin et interprète de son temps (Paris, 1961), pp. 606–7.

6The year could equally well be 1784, but our practice is to assign the earliest plausible date.

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