Benjamin Franklin Papers

Certificate from the Padua Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Arts: Résumé, 20 December 1781

Certificate from the Padua Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Arts4

Printed document, signed, with MS insertions: American Philosophical Society

<Padua, December 20, 1781, in Italian: Zeal in promoting the increase of useful knowledge naturally unites in a general society all those who consecrate their talents to such a noble cause, and the act of electing them into a learned organization is an acknowledgment of the original titles of their relationship. The Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Arts of Padua does honor to itself by naming Dr. Franklin, eminently distinguished in both natural science and politics, among the twenty-four illustrious foreigners who are to be associated into their body. The society will be fully recompensed if the eminent persons whom it elects not consider this among the smallest of literary honors.5>

Leopoldo M. A. Caldani, Presidente
Matteo Franzoja, Segrio. per le Scienza
Melchiorre Cesarotti, Segrio. per le lettere

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The first Italian academy to elect BF to membership. Its president, Leopoldo Marcantonio Caldani, was a noted physiologist, secretary Franzoja a mathematician, and secretary Cesarotti a distinguished man of letters: Antonio Pace, Benjamin Franklin and Italy (Philadelphia, 1958), p. 87.

5BF endorsed the certificate, “Diploma of the Academy at Padua in Italy. recd. March 6, 1782.” It seems more likely, however, that the certificate was delivered by the Venetian ambassador Delfino along with his letter of April 6, 1782 (APS).

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