Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 13

for "By the emulation," in Smyth,
read "But the Emulation;" in paragraph fifteen for the phrase, in
Smyth and Bigelow, beginning, "I wish I could see the same emulation,"
correct to end, "between the two Nations as I see between the two
Parties here;" in paragraph sixteen, in both Bigelow and Smyth, for
"Experiment," read "Experience;" and for the unintelligible phrase in
both Bigelow and Smyth, "Beings of a frank and [sic] nature," read
"Beings of a Rank and Nature." Minor discrepancies between this and
the other press-copies and the letters as printed by Bigelow and Smyth
also occur. The signature is in pencil in this copy. A "P. S. Nov.
25th" is not in the press-copy, contrary to Smyth's statement, but
I have a press-copy of the French _Proces-Verbal_, therein referred
to, in Franklin's handwriting with his name and eight others affixed
as witnesses. Neither Bigelow nor Smyth print this document, which
was first reproduced in the book mentioned by Franklin in the first
paragraph of his letter, viz: "Description des Experiences de la
Machine Aerostatique par M. Faujas de Saint-Fond, Paris, 1783." Since
Franklin's copy of the _Proces-Verbal_ differs only in his spelling
the word "_sang-froid_" instead of "_sens-froid_," I do not print it.
However, other changes were introduced in the _Proces-Verbal_ when
reprinted in the second volume of M. Faujas' work, published in 1784.
The plate forming the frontispiece to this volume shows the balloon as
seen from Mr. Franklin's terrace at Passy.

_Letter of November 30._ This has never been published so far as I
know. "The Journal of the first Aerial Voyage," here mentioned, was
written by the Marquis d'Arlandes to M. Faujas de Saint-Fond on Nov.
28th and first printed in the _Journal de Paris_ but was republished by
Faujas de Saint-Fond in his second volume.

_Letter of December 1._ Smyth states that he reproduced this
letter from my press-copy but he omits the capital letters and the
contractions in spelling, as well as the references "A" and "B," which
are given by Bigelow with the remark that the drawings were not found.
"The Manuscript, containing some Particulars of the Experiment, which
I enclose," mentioned in the Postscript, is a two-page account in
French, in Franklin's handwriting, by an eye-witness of the voyage, M.
le Chevalier de Cubiere. As this interesting document has never been
published, to my knowledge, I have given it here _literatim_ from my
press-copy.




--Transcriber's note--

A caret (^) indicates the following character or characters were
printed in superscript. Some superscripts were silently converted to
regular characters (i.e. 27th instead of 27^th).

Except for the following corrections, the original text and punctuation
remain

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