The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 31

Volume 31: November 1, 1779, through February 29, 1780

Benjamin Franklin; Edited by Barbara B. Oberg

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November 29, 1995
712 pages, 5 3/4 x 8 5/8
ISBN: 9780300061093
Cloth

Volume 31 of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin is the fourth volume in the sequence dealing with Franklin's tenure as sole minister to the French court, and it is the ninth of a projected twenty volumes covering Franklin's years in France.

Franklin's public life was exceptionally busy. Among his duties were supervising the collection of arms and uniforms for the American army and conducting an inquiry into the conduct of Captain Pierre Landais at the Battle off Flamborough Head. This volume gives much information about Franklin's other interests as well, ranging from a fascinating tailor's bill to a lengthy memorial describing his western land ventures. Five of his bagatelles—including "The Whistle" and "The Elysian Fields," composed for the two most important women in his French life, Mme. Brillon and Mme. Helvétius—appear here. Students of a variety of subjects, from cryptography to the history of printing, will find material of interest in this richly varied collection of letters and documents. Volume 31 is a major addition not only to Franklin studies but also to the study of early American history.

Publication of this volume was assisted by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

"So voluminous was Franklin's correspondence while in France that the editors were forced in this as in the seven previous volumes dealing with that portion of his life to summarize some incoming letters and promissory notes. More than enough remain to make leisure reading of the volume enjoyable."—Anonymous

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