Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John MacMahon, 1 October 1777

From John MacMahon4

ALS: American Philosophical Society

At the Military school October the 1st. 1777


I make bold to recommend to you the bearer, who is a Clergyman of my country. He has received a letter from Ireland to be forwarded to Albany in North America, and is charged at the same time to have the answer directed to him in Paris. Will you be so kind as to let him know, how he is to send off this letter? I think it may be by means of some Merchant in Bordeaux or Nantes, who could give it to the first Captain, sailing to Boston, or any other part of the Continent. Every body in this house longs to hear good news from that part of the world, but none so much as Sir your most humble and obedient servant

J. MacMahon

P.S. I have been twice lately to wait upon you, without having had the pleasure of finding you at home.

Addressed: To / The Honourable Doctor / Benjamin Franklin / at Passy / chez M. Ré De Chaumont

Notation: MacMahon 1 October 77.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4A descendant of an Irish family that had emigrated to France after the collapse of the Stuart cause, and that eventually produced the Marshal and President of the Third Republic. John MacMahon (died 1786) was a member of the Parisian medical faculty, professor of surgery, and for many years the head of the medical service at the Ecole militaire: Robert Laulan, “Service de santé à l’Ecole militaire de Paris (1753–1787),” Fédération des sociétés historiques et archéologiques de Paris et de l’Ile-de-France Mémoires, IV (1952), 74–6. This is the first extant letter in an ongoing correspondence; MacMahon eventually became BF’s and WTF’s physician, or at least wrote them prescriptions.

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