Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Rudolph Erich Raspe, 26 March 1779

From Rudolph Erich Raspe4

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London. March. 26. 1779.

Honourd Sir

Mesrs Waiz V Eshen, nevews of the Minister of that name, whom Your Excellency was acquainted with at Cassell in Germany,5 will have the honour to deliver those lines, in testimony of the profound esteem, which animates them for Your Excellency. They have travelled through the greater part of Germany, Sweden, Norway, and England in order to acquire usefull Knowledge in whatever relates to Mountains, Mines and Foundaries; and I am very happy to have an opportunity of assuring Your Excellency that I am with the truest and warmest and highest admiration and esteem Your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servant

R. E. Raspe.

At Mr. Lockyer David Bookseller Holbourn.

Notation: R. E. Raspe Londres 26 mars 1779.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4For the writer, former librarian, and curator-turned-thief who had been in exile from Germany since 1775 see XIII, 345n.

5The minister was Friedrich Siegmund von Waitz, Reichfreiherr von Eschen (1745–1808): Robert L. Kahn, “Some Unpublished Raspe-Franklin Letters,” APS Proc., XCIX (1955), 130n. The messieurs Waitz wrote BF on May 8, 1779, to inform him that the indisposition of one of them would prevent their waiting upon him the following day. In another brief note, undated, they ask to present their respects to BF “Vendredi prochain.” Both documents are at the APS.

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