Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Guy(Gui)-Jean-Baptiste Target, 13 July 1782

From Guy(Gui)-Jean-Baptiste Target2

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Ce 13. juillet 1782

J’ai l’honneur de présenter mes respectueux hommages a Monsieur Franklin, et de lui adresser un ouvrage anglois que M. de Crevecœur me charge de lui faire parvenir.3 Je dois des remercimens a M. de Crevecœur de m’avoir procuré L’occasion de me rapeller au Souvenir de Monsieur Franklin et de Lui offrir Lassurance de mon dévouement et de mon respect


Notation: Target 13 Juillet 1782

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2This friend of Crèvecœur’s was one of the most famous lawyers of his day. Like his colleague and close friend Elie de Beaumont, he was concerned with social justice and was associated with the Jansenist opposition to the Maupeou parlement. He became a member of the Académie française in 1785, the first lawyer to be elected in more than a century, and helped draft the Declaration of the Rights of Man: David A. Bell, Lawyers and Citizens: the Making of a Political Elite in Old Regime France (New York and Oxford, 1994), pp. 131–3; Dena Goodman, The Republic of Letters: a Cultural History of the French Enlightenment (Ithaca, N.Y., and London, 1996), p. 262.

3This was Crèvecœur’s Letters from an American Farmer (London, 1782), which was already a success in England. Crèvecœur’s translation, Lettres d’un cultivateur américain, undertaken at the suggestion of Mme d’Houdetot and her friends, was published at Paris in 1784. For an account of the work’s publication, reception, and translation see Howard C. Rice, Le Cultivateur américain: étude sur l’œuvre de Saint John de Crèvecœur (Paris, 1933), pp. 59–106. See also Julia Post Mitchell, St. Jean de Crèvecoeur (New York, 1916), pp. 73–8.

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