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Letter by James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, Edinburgh, 1765 July 4 [manuscript]
Bib ID 4903111
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Author
Monboddo, James Burnett, Lord, 1714-1799
 
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1765] 
1 item (5 p.) 
Summary

MS Acc10.108 comprises the letter written to an unknown recipient by James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, at Edinburgh, 4 July 1765. In the letter, Monboddo speculates upon his theory that humans were originally wild animals until the need to congregate for protection made them sociable humans, and from which a need for language evolved. He then wonders if any people have congregated for reasons other than protection, and advances a hypothesis that the inhabitants of New Holland may be regarded as almost wild, as he has heard they have very little social structure, not even language. He also expresses doubt about Baron de Lahontan's statements about native Americans. Monboddo opens the letter by thanking the recipient's acquaintances Monsieur Guynes and Monsieur Capronier for their assistance at the Bibliothèque du Roi; he closes by sending the best wishes of Dr John Hope, botanist and surgeon, and a Dr Clark (5 p.).

Biography/History

James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, was an eighteenth century Scottish judge, scholar of linguistic evolution and philosopher. Part of the Scottish Enlightenment, he lived in Edinburgh but was well-connected with London's literary scene, and corresponded with many European philosophers and scholars.

Notes

Manuscript reference no.: MS Acc10.108.

In French.

Subjects Monboddo, James Burnett, Lord, 1714-1799 -- Correspondence.  |  Lahontan, Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron de, 1666-1715?  |  Philosophers, Modern -- Scotland -- Correspondence.  |  Civilization -- History -- Philosophy.  |  Aboriginal Australians -- Social conditions.  |  Indians of North America.  |  Australia -- Civilization -- History.
Time Coverage 1765 
Terms of Use Copying of James Burnett's copyright material permitted for research purposes. 

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