From John Charretié
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Paris Decbr. 11. 1780.
I take the liberty to request your Excellency to give the Bearer the Petition to the Minister of the Marine, and the report of the Committee of the house of Commons.8
I Flatter my Self that your Excellency Will condescend to note at the bottom of the Petition that I Was recommended to her as a Man of confidence and probity,9 and that You Will be so good as give a Few lines of introduction to your Friends at Versailles, as I have no acquaintance there Whatever.1 I beg leave to observe to you, that Mr. Pecholier,2 Who I propose in the petition as my associate is one of the first houses in London.
Penetrated With the highest sense of Your Goodness and Generosity I am Your Excellency’s Most obedient and Most humble Servant
Addressed: A Son Excellence / Monsieur B Franklin / Ministre des Etats Unis de / l’Amérique / à Passy
Notation: John Charrië Paris Decr. 11. 1780
8. He had sent the report to BF on Dec. 2, above. We have no record of the petition.
9. On the verso of the address sheet BF penned what is most likely a copy of the certification he provided for Charretié’s petition. He stated that Charretié was recommended “by very respectable Persons in London, as a Man of Probity, and well worthy of confidence.”
1. On Dec. 11, BF wrote Edme-Jacques Genet (who was chief of interpreters for the naval ministry as well as the foreign ministry) that Charretié wished to present a petition to Castries. “As he is quite a Stranger at Versailles, I beg you would favour him with your Counsels as to the Manner of his Proceeding,” asked BF. Genet Papers, Library of Congress. The American minister subsequently must have agreed to see Charretié, who gratefully replied on Dec. 23 that he would come the following day. APS.
2. Probably the merchant Thomas Pecholier of Idol Lane and Tower Street: Kent’s Directory for the Year 1780 (London, 1780), p. 134. He may have been related to the Bordeaux merchants of that name (XXIII, 191, 210).