Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Benjamin Vaughan, 8 October 1779

From Benjamin Vaughan

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London, Octr. 8th: 1779.

My dearest sir,

Mr Oliver has written me a letter from Barbadoes,9 desiring me to procure from my connections letters to the French Governors of Grenada & St. Vincents;1 in both which islands he has property, more particularly in the former. As I take for granted this hint was intended for you, and will be such as your opinion of him will induce to comply with; I take the liberty of asking for such letters; and, as after one letter is written, a duplicate can then be had with the mere trouble of an additional signature to a copy; I shall beg the farther of letters being sent by a French conveyance, and duplicates being sent to me for an English conveyance. The address will be sufficient, if the name of Richard Oliver Esq. with the respective island be mentioned.— The only letters I shall ask from you are for the Oliver connection, which I place to Mr Oliver’s account, he being your friend; also for Mr Manning, father in law to President Laurens’s son & who may chance also to be father in law to one of your friends;2 and for our family.— Mr. Oliver’s letters I suppose are now all finished, Mr Lovell’s included; the letters for our family, I leave to your own suggestions, our concerns being all in Jamaica, & the letters not as yet apparently called for; Mr. Mannings letters will only be requested from you in case of accident to St. Kitts.—3 I have a pacquet to send you on Sunday next,4 and am my dearest sir, your ever devoted


Our affairs are here semper eadem.5

Notation: B. Vaughn Oct. 8. 79

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Richard Oliver had returned to the West Indies in March to oversee his estates: XXIX, 43–4n.

1The governor of St. Vincent was de Percin la Roche, who had led a force including some of the island’s inhabitants during the French capture of the island on June 16: Ivor Waters, The Unfortunate Valentine Morris (Chepstow, England, 1964), pp. 66–9.

2William Manning (1729–91) descended from a family that had been well-established in the West Indies since the time of Charles II: DNB under Henry Edward Manning. He moved to London from St. Kitts in late 1767 and became a partner in a merchant firm and Henry Laurens’ business agent. His daughter Matilda married John Laurens: XXVII, 370n; Vere Langford Oliver, The History of the Island of Antigua … (3 vols., London, 1894–99), II, 232. Manning’s other daughter, Sarah, married Vaughan in 1781; the father had opposed the marriage until then, supposedly because Vaughan had no profession: DNB under Vaughan.

3St. Kitts (St. Christopher) had been threatened by d’Estaing’s fleet in July; see our annotation of Bingham’s Aug. 28 letter.

4Oct. 10.

5Always the same.

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