Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from O’Gorman, 4 February 1782

From O’Gorman

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris ce 4 fevrier 1782


On my return from Versailles late last night I learned at my Lodgings that your Excellency did me the honour to call thither on friday evening last. I was unhappy not to have been at home to receive you. I had the honour to write to your Excellency on friday morning2 before my departure for Versailles, and went this morning to the Merchants of Nantes to express to them once more your desire of confering with them. They assured me they would wait on your Excellency on Thuresday next in the fore noon.3

My Protectors at Court, and particularly the Count de Vergennes, have made a bold Push with the Minister of the Marine departement to procure me one of the Consulships in America. Those of Philadelphia and Boston are already named to: That of Charlestown Comprehending Mariland, Virginia, the two Carolinas & Georgia is as yet vacant, and upon the point of being decided in favour of Somebody, I hope of me.4

You go to Court to morrow, and I flatter my Self that your Excellency will be kind enough to express to the Count de Vergennes, my avowed protector, and Even to the Marquis de Castries the particular utility I would be of to the United States as well as to the mother Country (I mean france) in them parts, and the Pleasure it would give them to possess me there rather than a french Gentleman that has no knowledge of the different idioms of the Country, nor any Connexions in them Regions. In short your Excellency will be pleased to express whatever your friendship for and knowledge of me shall dictate to you. I employ every interest that possibly I can to Succeed in the districts of Mariland, Virginia and the Carolinas, which fall intirely under my plan, and I hope you’l favour that plan with as much dilicacy as is consistant with your Excellency.

I have the honour to be with great respect Sir your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant

Le Chevr. O’Gorman

his Excellency Doctor Franklin at Passy

Notation: Gorman. Le Chevr. O. Paris 4. Fevr. 1782.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Above, Feb. 1.

3This meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7, has left no other trace. BF was then engaged in finding ships to carry the American military supplies currently being assembled at Brest; see BF to JW, Feb. 6, and to Veimerange, Feb. 17, below.

4In 1781 François Barbé de Marbois (XXIX, 457n) and Philippe-André-Joseph de Létombe had been named consuls in Philadelphia and Boston. The Charleston post was not filled until 1784, although a vice-consul was named in 1783: Abraham P. Nasatir and Gary E. Monell, comps., French Consuls in the United States … (Washington, D.C., 1967), pp. 559–61, 563, 565–7.

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