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Ben Franklin thanks Charles Dumas for Copies of Vattel's Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law

Ben Franklin thanks Charles Dumas for Copies of Vattel's Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law

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Published by protectourliberty
26 Apr 2010: Ben Franklin thanks Charles Dumas for Copies of Vattel's Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law.

For more information on the influence of Vattel on our founders and framers and the U.S. Constitution see:
http://www.protectourliberty.org
http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com
http://puzo1.blogspot.com
26 Apr 2010: Ben Franklin thanks Charles Dumas for Copies of Vattel's Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law.

For more information on the influence of Vattel on our founders and framers and the U.S. Constitution see:
http://www.protectourliberty.org
http://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com
http://puzo1.blogspot.com

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categoriesTypes, Research, Law
Published by: protectourliberty on Aug 25, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/15/2012

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Ben Franklin thanking Charles Dumas for sending himthree more copies of Vattel’s Law of Nations orPrinciples of Natural Law. Originally written andposted online: Monday, April 26, 2010
Another founder of our nation and framer of our Constitution, Benjamin Franklin, wasalso quite familiar and well versed with the writings of Vattel. He had his own personalcopy prior to the advent of the Revolution. And in 1775 he wrote to Charles Dumas aneditor and journalist in the Netherlands and thanked him for sending Franklin 3 copies of the newest edition of Vattel(published in French). Franklin commented to Dumas that his personal copy was in heavy demand by the other delegates to the Continental Congressmeeting in 1775. Dumas was the Editor for thenewly published 1775 edition of Vattel'sLaw of Nations(in the original French) in the Netherlands. Franklin and most of the founders were fluent in French which was the diplomatic language of that time. Dumasalso made comments in his writings to Franklin about Vattel's enlightened writings andvision for a new form of government for a nation where the people were sovereign andthe unique opportunity for its application to the affairs in America in the coloniessplitting from Great Britain. The words found in our Declaration of Independencementioning the "Laws of Nature" and the phrase mentioning unalienable rights such as"life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" are right out of Volume 1 of Vattel. As are thewords of seeking a more perfect union in the Preamble of our Constitution were alsoinspired by the teachings and writings of Vattel who wrote that government shouldalways be striving to perfect itself to better serve the people. Thus it is quite evident thatthe founders read and used Vattel extensively. Here is a reprint of the letter from Franklinto Dumas thanking him for sending the books.
 
 Benjamin Franklin to: Charles William Frederic Dumas-----------------------------------------------------------------------Dear Sir,Philadelphia, 9 December, 1775.I received your several favors, of May 18th, June 30th, and July 8th, by Messrs. Vaillantand Pochard;(1) whom if I could serve upon your recommendation, it would give megreat pleasure. Their total want of English is at present an obstruction to their getting anyemployment among us; but I hope they will soon obtain some knowledge of it. This is agood country for artificers or farmers; but gentlemen of mere science in les belles lettrescannot so easily subsist here, there being little demand for their assistance among anindustrious people, who, as yet, have not much leisure for studies of that kind.I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. Itcame to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessaryfrequently to consult the law of nations.
 
Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (afterdepositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and haveentertained a high and just esteem for their author. Your manuscript "Idee sur leGouvernement et la Royaute" is also well relished, and may, in time, have its effect. Ithank you, likewise, for the other smaller pieces, which accompanied Vattel. "Le courtExpose de ce qui s'est passe entre la Cour Britannique et les Colonies," bc. being a veryconcise and clear statement of facts, will be reprinted here for the use of our new friendsin Canada. The translations of the proceedings of our Congress are very acceptable. Isend you herewith what of them has been farther published here, together with a fewnewspapers, containing accounts of some of the successes Providence has favored uswith. We are threatened from England with a very powerful force, to come next yearagainst us.(2) We are making all the provision in our power here to oppose that force, andwe hope we shall be able to defend ourselves. But, as the events of war are alwaysuncertain, possibly, after another campaign, we may find it necessary to ask the aid of some foreign power.------------------------------------------------------------------------Source:http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=DelVol02.xml&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=459&division=div1

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