From Jane Collas
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Cambridge June 6th. 1781
My dear and ever Honor’d Uncle
The bearer of this is Mr Thayer, a young Genttelman Educated at Newhaven Collage, has been Some time a candidate for the Ministry and Chaplian at the Castle,4 is now going to france, has impertuned me for A letter of introduction to you, which tho I am but very little acquainted with him I could not refuse after makeing every reasonable apology, his views I am a Stranger to, I am happy in the oppertunity of thanking you for your kindness to Mr Collas5 when a prisoner and in France. Mamma was well three weaks ago, the Genttleman is waiting, and I have only time to assuer you of my filial regard and that I am with respect, veneration, and love, Your ever affectionate and dutifull Neice
Addressed: His / Excellency Benjan. Franklin Esqr / at / Paris
4. John Thayer (1758–1815) received an honorary A.B. degree from Yale College in 1779 and served as chaplain at Castle William (on Castle Island in Boston Harbor) under John Hancock, 1780–81. After coming to France he converted to Roman Catholicism, studied theology, and was ordained by the archbishop of Paris in 1787. Several years later Jane Collas apologized for having recommended this “bold intruder.” DAB; Collas to BF, Nov. 11, 1787, APS.
5. The tale of Peter Collas’ travails and the assistance BF rendered his unfortunate nephew-in-law unfolded in our last several volumes; see in particular XXIII, 41; XXV, 459; XXVII, 192–3, 519; XXVIII, 57n, 78–9, 363–4, 542–3; XXX, 524–5. Collas had been recaptured during his most recent voyage: Mecom to BF, Oct. 23, 1781, below.