The Learned Blacksmith Promotes Peace
Elihu Burritt, Letter to the Marquis de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, 1849.
Elihu Burritt (1810-1879), known as "the Learned Blacksmith," was born in New Britain, Connecticut. He became interested in improving his education and moved to Worcester, intending to use the library of the American Antiquarian Society to study foreign languages. In Worcester, he worked as a blacksmith and taught himself to read some thirty languages. In his later years he travelled extensively, especially in Europe, lecturing and working for world peace. Burritt wrote this letter in both French and English. In it, Burritt invites Liancourt to visit the London Peace Society – “Perhaps you will call at our office when you are next in the city and we will then make up a packet and tracts etc. on the subject of peace.”