Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Elkanah Watson, Jr., 8 May 1781

From Elkanah Watson, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes. 8th. May 1781


I forwarded my bankers Messrs. J. Cottin & fils & Jauge, a small bill drawn by Jas. Clark Esqr on you for 18 dolls—viz No. 2693. dated 28th. Decr. 1780 in favr. Mary Jenkins7 & indors’d to me by James Daggett— Messrs. Cottin’s advise me that the bill is by some means lost— If you can negotiate the ammount with them in consequence of the above discription please to advise them accordingly.

I have the honour to be your Excellencys Very Hl. St.

Elkh. Watson Jr.

The Honble. Benj. Franklin Esqr. Passi

Notation: 28 Mar 81 Chr

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / Ministre Plénipotentiaire des / Etats unis en Son Hotel / a / Passi / pres Paris

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Perhaps a relative of Elisha Jenkins of New York state who was in Nantes at the time: Winslow C. Watson, ed., Men and Times of the Revolution; or Memoirs of Elkanah Watson … (New York and London, 1857), p. 131n. During the summer and autumn of 1781 Watson visited Paris (ibid., p. 117) and quite possibly it was during this time that some of his bills of exchange were stolen. A brief, undated note in Ferdinand Grand’s hand written on his behalf informed BF (or WTF) how to detect a forged signature (APS). He also passed on a warning that two bills of exchange worth $150 belonging to a George Benson had been intercepted by the British; a July 17, 1781, letter Benson wrote Watson from Boston also is among BF’s papers at the APS.

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