From Jean François Ubetius8
ALS: American Philosophical Society
<Turin, December 10, 1776, in French: I met you several times in London, some seven years ago, and now take the liberty of writing to recommend the bearer, Thomas Negroni, who has a burning desire to serve the colonies on his own. He comes from a good family in the Duchy of Milan, and his zeal and courage in emigrating to America entitle him to be considered as born there.9 Your admirer and colleague, Father Beccaria, adds his recommendation to mine. I should like to come to Philadelphia myself, to see you again and spend the rest of my days there, but the voyage would be extremely harmful for me. Endorsed by Franklin: “Ubetius recommending the young Italian.”>
8. Or Giovanni Francesco Ubezio, a physician of some distinction and the author of a work on smallpox, who has not appeared before in this series.
9. Negroni never made the voyage. Perhaps he went to France en route, learned of BF’s arrival and delivered the letter, then stayed on. In any case he was giving Italian lessons to WTF by late 1778, and was in bad health; at some point “le Maleureux Negroni,” close to destitution, wrote BF to ask for help. Negróni to WTF, Nov. 2, 1778, and to BF, undated, APS.