Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jacques-Aimée de Bourzeis, [c. 7 November 1783]

From Jacques-Aimée de Bourzeis1

LS: American Philosophical Society

[c. November 7, 1783]

Monsieur

Des faits vrais, et simplement exposés dans cette brochure, offriront les procédes de l’art de guerir en opposition aux effets de L’Empirisme.2

Je suis avec le plus profond Respect de Votre excellence. Monsieur Le très humble et tres obeïssant serviteur.

De Bourzeis D. M. P.3

1The physician for the Cent-Suisses, one of the Swiss guard companies at the French court, and a privy councillor of the margrave of Brandenburg: Almanach royal for 1783, p. 603.

2Bourzeis enclosed a copy of Observation très-importante sur les effets du magnétisme animal (Paris, 1783), which was first advertised in the Jour. de Paris on Nov. 7. The book criticized the treatment Franz Anton Mesmer (identified only as “M. M. …”) applied to one of Bourzais’s patients, who suffered from pulmonary edema (hydropisie de poitrine) and ultimately died. BF’s copy is at the Hist. Soc. of Pa.: Wolf and Hayes, Library of Benjamin Franklin, p. 144. For a detailed discussion of the relationship between mesmerism and empiricism see Jessica Riskin, Science in the Age of Sensibility: the Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment (Chicago and London, 2002), pp. 190–209.

3Docteur-Médecin de la Faculté de Paris.

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