Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from [Henry] Pattulo, 12 October 1778: résumé

From [Henry] Pattullo9

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<St. Germain en Laye, October 12, 1778: Your reputation for knowledge, wisdom and virtue has made me long desire to meet you. Accidents prevented my being introduced to you in London seven years ago. I have some proposals to offer, based on a lifelong application to the study of rural and political economy. I am of a Scots family and was engaged “in a too remarkable character” in the unhappy affairs of 1745, after which I sought safety in travel. Since the expiration of the time limit on trials for treason, I have often gone to England and Scotland where I waited on the ministers of the time. I reside mostly in France, however, being used to the climate and attached to the engaging attentions of some of the best.

As it appears the United States will make good its independence, I wish, as a citizen of the world, to contribute to its wellbeing. In that view I enclose a summary of my proposals.1 I will meet you with pleasure at the time and place of your choice.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Although he doesn’t give his first name we are convinced the writer is Henry Pattullo, author of Essai sur ramélioration des terres (Paris, 1758) and An Essay upon the Cultivation of the Lands and Improvement of the Revenues of Bengal (London, 1772). He was a member of the academies of Auxerre and Villefranche: Quérard, France littéraire.

1The summary promised that the author would present a plan for the improvement of American land cultivation, which would lead to the increase of revenue and the establishment of all kinds of arts and industry. There is no indication that BF responded; he endorsed the letter (probably much later) “M. Patullo St. Germain en Laye 12. Oct. 1780.”

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