Barbeu-Dubourg, Jacques (1709-1779)

Physician, translator, writer.

Studied theology, languages, and the law at a young age. Admitted as doctor to the Faculty of Medicine at Paris (1748).

Probably met Franklin in 1767. The two began a lifelong personal and philosophical correspondence. Franklin had his Petit code de la raison humaine (1768) translated into English by Polly Stevenson and printed by William Strahan.

Supervised and published a French translation of Franklin’s examination before the House of Commons in the Ephémérides du citoyen (1768). Wrote Lettre d’un Philadelphien à un ami de Paris (1769) and translated Dickinson’s La Lettre d’un Fermier de Pennsylvanie aux habitants de l’Amerique septentrionale (1769). Prepared a French edition of Franklin’s works, Oeuvres de M. Franklin (1773).

Franklin helped arrange his election to the American Philosophical Society (1775).

Selected in Philadelphia as a contact for the first commercial and diplomatic emissaries sent by the colonies to France (1776) and played an active part in arranging military and financial aid from France. Admitted to the Royal Society of Medicine (1779).

Born in Mayenne. Great-uncle of Jean L’Air de Lamotte.