Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Abbé Jacob Hemmer, 24 September 1778: résumé

From the Abbé Jacob Hemmer1

AL: American Philosophical Society

<Mannheim, September 24,2 1778, in Latin: Wishing to give you a token of its esteem, the Palatine Academy of Sciences has entrusted me with the pleasant task of sending you its Transactions. I rejoice in this chance to thank you again for the kindness you showed me and my friend Delor in Paris recently.3

Of the five volumes I am supposed to send you, the first two are made up of a mixture of history and natural science; the others deal with separate topics. The fourth, which I shall ship as soon as it gets off the press, is all physics.4 It contains four of my essays—one on lightning rods in the Palatinate, one on memorable strokes of lightning, one on an electrical cure for paralysis that I performed, and one on the perpetual “electrophore” which I built here.

I will send you soon the by-laws of our own German Society, in the hopes that it will become the sister of yours.5>

1For this prominent meteorologist and researcher in German philology (1733–1790), see the ADB. He was the first in the Palatinate to demonstrate the utility of lightning rods.

2“8 calendas octobris.”

3In spite of frequent mentions of his work on electricity, Delor has remained a mystery figure: see IV, 315–16 n.

4He sent it on Aug. 8, 1780. APS.

5The “Catalogus librorum” that he enclosed contains the works of 44 authors for a sum total of 567 l.t. 5 s. BF endorsed the letter: “Hemmer Present of Books.”

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