Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from –– Hennessienne, 28 September 1778: résumé

From –– Hennessienne4

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Vienna, September 28, 1778, in French: A friend and I have discovered a method for neutralizing gunpowder in such a way that it will not explode under any circumstances. We also know how to render it explosive again. Such a momentous secret is yours if you pay my collaborator a lump sum of 8,000 florins. As for me, I will rely on the well-known fairness of your country where I wish to settle. We can demonstrate our technique to anyone you will appoint in Vienna or come to Paris at your expense.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4He signs himself “Docteur en Droit, Avocat, à la cour Souveraine de Lorraine et Barois, et Secretaire de L’Envoyer de france à la cour de Saxe. à l’hotel du Prince Esterhazÿ, à Vienne.”

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