Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from ——— Bertin, [before 9 May 1778]

From ——— Bertin2

AL: American Philosophical Society

[Before May 9, 1778]

Mde. Bertin prie Messieurs Francklin et Lée de luy faire l’honneur de venir diner chez elle Samedy 9 May 1778.


Addressed: A Monsieur/ Monsieur Francklin / a Passy.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2She was the niece by marriage of Henri-Léonard Bertin, former comptroller general of finances, and was said to have had considerable influence at court. John Adams, who acquired a high regard for her, attended the party; it was at Passy, and featured a small play. Butterfield, John Adams Diary, IV, 94–5. The play had three characters, Mme. Bertin as the Muse of History and two others as North America and the Genius of Liberty; the MS is among BF’s papers in the APS and entitled by him “Little Piece acted at Me. Bertin’s.” It opened with North America reading La Science du Bonhomme Richard and ended, after a eulogy of BF, with the curtains parting to reveal his portrait hung from an obelisk. His only other communications from Mme. Bertin, as far as we know, were two brief undated notes (APS): one asks him to enclose in his mail a letter to Philadelphia, and invites him and WTF to dinner; the other sends a memorandum that she recommends to his attention.

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