From philosophical investigations into slavery to the fear of "premature burial": The Académie de Dijon in 1785

[Académie de Dijon]. Document signed by 12 members, including Émiland Gauthey, Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau, and Hugues Maret.

Dijon, 5. IX. 1785.

Small fol. 3½ pp.


Historically interesting administrative document of the Académie des Sciences, Arts et Belles-Lettres de Dijon for the year 1785, listing attendance ("Controlle des Entrées de Messieurs les pensionnaires pendant l'année académique 1785"), the payment of pensions ("État des pensions de Messieurs les Pensionaires [!]"), and the lectures that had been given by the members ("Catalogue des ouvrages lus dans le cours de l'année académique"). The identified signatories are: Pierre-Louis Baudot, historian (1760-1816); Charles Boullemier, historian and librarian (1725-1803); François Chaussier, anatomist (1746-1828); Jean-François Durande, botanist (1732-1794); Joseph Enaux, physician (1726-1798); Émiland Gauthey, engineer and architect (1732-1806); Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau, chemist, lawyer, and politician (1737-1816); Jean-Baptiste Mailly, historian, geographer, and journalist (1744-1794); Hugues Maret, physician (1726-1786); Claude-Nicolas Perret, lawyer (1718-1788); and Henri-Claude Picardet, educator (1728-1794). Of these, Baudot, Bullemier, Guyton de Morveau, Maret, and Picardet signed the document three times as official witnesses or administrators. The remaining signatures, including a fourth signature each by Baudot, Boullemier, and Maret, confirm receipt of the pensions (fol. 1v).

Of particular historical interest is the list of works that had been presented by some of the signatories. The famous engineer Gauthey read a "Mémoire sur l'épaisseur qu'on doit donner aux murs de soutenement pour resister à la poussée des terres" concerning the statics of retaining walls, Hugues Maret presented a "Memoir on epidemic diseases in the spring of this year", his 1784 "Histoire Meteoro-Nosologique", and an analysis of the water of a volcanic lake in Monterotondo Marittimo, Tuscany. The little-known lawyer Claude-Nicolas Perret read a philosophical text on the subject of slavery: "Examen de l'opinion de quelques Philosophes Modernes sur l'esclavage", the botanist and physician Jean-François Durande presented a "method of multiplying the foreign trees", but also "the method of burying the dead" and "premature burials", while his colleague Enaux brought foward his "Méthode de traiter les morsures des animaux enragés et de la vipere" ("Method of treating bites from rabid animals and from the viper"), which was published in Dijon that year.

Some browning and several stains. Minor damage due to ink corrosion. With several tears minimally affecting the text and the first signature of Picardet. The first signatures of Boullemier and Baudot are somewhat rubbed. With collector's stamp, old price or inventory no. (fol. 1r).

Stock Code: BN#60528 Tag: