Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Gabriel Johonnot, 25 May 1783

From Gabriel Johonnot6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Baltimore 25th. May. 1783.


Although I had the Honor of writing your Excellency a few Days since,7 I cannot omit Embracing the present Occasion, least some Accident may prevent its reaching your Hands before this, of Recapitulating its Contents which Assured your Excellency that Unforseen Circumstances, the Effects of the Reports of the Apprach of Peace for some Months before it took place, Had been a Means of detaining Me much longer than I expected, it Included Also my very particular request supported by Doctr: Cooper.s Ardent Desires, that Your Excellency would be pleased to procure a passage for my Son,8 recall Him from Geneva, & direct His Embarkation for Boston to the care of Mr: Williams or some other person whom your Excellency should think Proper. I informed your Excellency I could not Get a single Bill or should have inclosed it. But that your last Bill was paid as soon as it came to Hand,9 and as your Excellency might still Have Occasion to lodge Monies in Boston that you would be pleased to draw, and might be Assured your draughts would be punctually discharged. Permit me to Entreat Your Excellency.s Attention to Return My Son to the care of His Grand Father who is looking for it with no Small Anxiety. I Hope for some Future Occasion to testify to your Excellency the Gratefull Feelings of my Heart. For Your Paternal Attention to my Son, In the Interim please to Accept my Warmest Wishes for your Happiness—and Believe me with sentiments of the Most Sincere Respect & Esteem Your Excellency.s Most Obedient Most Humble Servant

G. Johonnot

P.S. Please to tender my Respectfull Compliments to your Nephew Mr. W. T. Franklin

Honble: Benja: Franklin Esqr:

Notation: Johonnot 25 May 1783.—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6This is his last known letter to BF. By 1784 he had moved to Maine, where he died in 1820: Joseph W. Porter, Memoir of Col. Jonathan Eddy, of Eddington, Me. … (Augusta, 1877), pp. 66–7.

7Not found.

8Samuel Cooper Johonnot. Earlier in May, Samuel Cooper had written to BF about Gabriel Johonnot’s plan to escort his son (Cooper’s grandson) back to America. In late June, after learning that his son-in-law would not sail to Europe, Cooper wrote BF again, asking him and JW to arrange a return passage for young Johonnot as soon as possible: Samuel Cooper to Samuel Cooper Johonnot, June 23, 1783 (Yale University Library). Both letters to BF are missing.

9Possibly the bill for Samuel’s schooling that BF sent on Dec. 20, 1782, which still had not been paid by April: XXXVIII, 482; XXXIX, 534.

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