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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 6

This note contained in document ADMS-06-06-02-0124-0002
5. He snatched the lightning from heaven and the scepter from tyrants. Dumas' source for this famous and widely quoted inscription attributed to Turgot is unknown, nor can the portrait under which it was to appear be determined with any certainty, for it accompanies many representations of Franklin, even a “vase de nuit” given by Louis XVI to Comtesse Diane de Polignac in recognition of her ostentatious adoration of Franklin (Charles Coleman Sellers, Benjamin Franklin in Portraiture, New Haven, 1962, p. 108). For an interesting essay on Turgot and the attribution of this quotation to him, see “Benjamin Franklin and John Slidell at Paris,” in Works of Charles Sumner, 15 vols., Boston, 1870–1883, 8:1–38.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2016.