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Lettre adressée a l'abbé Raynal sur les affaires de l'Amérique septentrionale, dans laquelle on relève les erreurs que contient son ouvrage sur la Révolution des Etats-Unis

Authors of source text

Thomas Paine


Thomas Paine
uncertainty Anonymous (François Soulès)
François Buisson

Related resources

is translation of
Letter addressed to the abbe Raynal on the affairs of North-America, in which the mistakes in the abbe's account of the revolution of America are corrected and cleared up. By Thomas Paine, M.A. of the University of Pennsylvania, and author of the pamphlet and other publications, entitled, "Common sense" has translation
is part of
Recueil des divers écrits de Thomas Paine, secrétaire du Congrès Américain, et membre de la Convention Nationale en 1792, sur la politique et la législation, faisant suite aux autres ouvrages intitulés, Les Droits de l'Homme et le Sens Commun. Traduit de l'Anglois translation has paratext


Paine's English text contained quotes from the unauthorized translation of Raynal's work. Revolution in America (1781), which meant that the French translations of Paine's writing were translating Raynal's words back into French from the English translation. The translator of the Strasbourg/Kehl edition pointed to the role that these successive translations might have played in generating the polemic around Paine's text, which included excerpts from Common Sense.

Three earlier translations of this text were published in 1783. One from Amsterdam (Crajenschot), translated by Antoine-Marie Cerisier, one from Paris (Knapen) and one from Strasbourg & Kehl (Dannbach & Bureau de la Gazette littéraire), the last two with unidentified translators.

Strasbourg & Kehl: https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Lettre_A_L_Abb%C3%A9_Raynal_Sur_Les_Affaires/e3xgAAAAcAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=paine+lettre+a+l%27abbe+raynal&printsec=frontcover.

Amsterdam: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k4223832g/f9.item.

This translation appeared in a collection of Paine's other writings, Receuil de divers Ecrits de Thomas Paine sur la politique et la législation, and may have been commissioned from Buisson's regular translator François Soules. At the time, Buisson was the only French publisher offering a complete collection of Paine's writings, with editions of both parts of Droits de l'homme, Le Sens Commun and La Crise Amércaine.

For more on its publishing history, see Carine Lounissi, 'Thomas Paine in French: Translations, Transfers and Circulations in the Age of Revolutions (1776-1793)' (Journal of Early American History 11 (2021): 151-56).