From James Gambier5
AL: American Philosophical Society
[Before July 20, 1770?6]
Capt. Gambiers Compliments to Dr. Franklyn, and calld on him to have askd the favor of his Sentiments relative to a Man that Comm[issione?]r Robinson7 mentiond to Mr. Gambier as a proper person to recomend to take lease of a light House.
5. For the naval career of James Gambier (1723–89) see DNB.
6. The note is said to be c. 1784 and in French in I. Minis Hays, ed., The Calendar of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin … (5 vols., Philadelphia, 1908), III, 236. Our dating, although conjectural, is at least a better conjecture than that. Gambier was appointed commander in chief on the North American station in 1770; he left London on July 20, and sailed from Spithead on the 27th. London Chron., July 19–21, 28–31. It is a reasonable assumption that he would have inquired of BF about a lighthouse-keeper in the area of Boston, for which he was bound. BF knew a number of his relatives, was a particular friend of his uncle, Samuel Mead, and by this time was at least acquainted with Gambier himself. See above, VII, 325 n; X, 60 n; Cooper to BF below, Aug. 23, 1771; and BF to Cooper, Jan. 13, 1772.
7. Probably John Robinson, a member of the American Board of Customs Commissioners, who had sailed home from Boston on March 16, 1770.