Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Price, 7 September 1784

To Richard Price

ALS: American Philosophical Society; transcript: Library of Congress

Passy, Sept. 7. 1784

Dear Friend,

The Bearer, Count Mirabeau, who much respects your Character, has desired a Line of Introduction to you. He is Son to the Marquis de Mirabeau, Author of L’Ami des Hommes; is himself an excellent Writer, and has prepared for the Press a small Piece, much admired by the best Judges here, on the Subject of hereditary Nobility, which he proposes to get printed in England.8 I recommend him to your Civilities and Counsels, and am with sincerest Esteem and Respect, my ever dear Friend, Yours most affectionately

B. Franklin

Reverend Dr Price

Endorsed: A letter from Dr Franklin datd Sept 7th: 17849

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8For Mirabeau’s piece, see the annotation of Le Veillard’s Sept. 5 letter, above. Mirabeau and BF had reason to believe that Price would be sympathetic: in Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution, a pamphlet Price had recently sent to BF (XLII, 408), he had denounced hereditary honors, titles of nobility, and primogeniture as inimical to equality and noted “with peculiar satisfaction” that the Articles of Confederation stipulated “that no titles of nobility shall ever be granted by the united States”: Observations, pp. 71–2.

9On Sept. 25 Price invited WTF and Mirabeau to meet him at the Equitable Assurance Society, near Blackfriars Bridge, but had to cancel the engagement due to his wife’s ill health. Price and Mirabeau formed high opinions of each other, and Mirabeau gained Price’s permission to include a French translation of Observations in his Considérations sur l’ordre de Cincinnatus: Peach and Thomas, Price Correspondence, 11, 227, 232, 234, 236; Mirabeau to WTF, Sept. 30, 1784, APS.

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