To Jonathan Williams, Sr.
LS:4 Yale University Library
Passy, Oct. 25. 1779.
I received your kind Letters of July 29, and August 8. It was a great satisfaction to me to learn that my Dear Sister, was relieved from that continual Distress She had so long labour’d under.— I know not whether my Proposal with regard to Mr. Collais employing himself in making Crown Soap, is Likely to be exceuted by him to Advantage: Perhaps he may not have Activity and Acuteness enough: You and my Sister can judge of that better than me. I wish however that one good Boiling of it may be made and sent me. It will be useful to me in obliging Friends with it; and I shall thankfully refund what you may advance on that Account for me, in any manner you may order.
I received the young Gentleman M Watson wiith such Civilities as were in my Power, on your Recommendation.5 He is gone down to Nantes.
I am now to congratulate you on the Marriage of your Son Jonathan to a very amiable young Lady, Miss Marianne Alexander, Daughter of a friend of mine, who will I am persuaded make him a good Wife and a pleasing Compagnion as her Conversation is very Sensible and engaging. He will Doubtless give you other particulars.
I am always glad to hear of your Welfare, and that of your Family, to whom my Love and blessing. I am as ever, Your affectionate Unite
Jonathan Williams Esqe.
Addressed: To / Jonathan Williams Esqr / Merchant, / Boston / Favd by the Marqs / De la Fayette
4. In the hand of L’Air de Lamotte, whose mistranscription of the last word (“Unite” instead of “Uncle”) is typical. As the address indicates, this was one of the copies BF had his new secretary make for Lafayette to bring to America. The address sheet, and the notation, “Duplicate,” are in WTF’s hand.
5. BF indeed spared no efforts to welcome young Elkanah Watson, extending him an introduction to Vergennes, an invitation to dine at the Chaumonts, and an invitation to JW’s wedding, before sending him to Nantes with American and French dispatches for the Mercury: Winslow C. Watson, Men and Times of the Revolution; or, Memoirs of Elkanah Watson … (New York, 1856), pp. 86–93.