Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr.: Two Letters, 11 August 1783

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.: Two Letters

(I) and (II) ALS: American Philosophical Society


Nantes Augt 11. 1783.

Dear & Hond Sir

The Bearer Mr Grand Cannon is a youn Gentleman from Connecticut who passes through paris in his Way to London.9 He will have the Honour to pay his Respects to you, and I beg leave to introduce him to your kind Notice as a discreet, intelligent worthy young man, and deserving the Esteem of all his Friend; I have this knowledge of him from his Residence for some Time past with me, and have therefore a particular Pleasure in reccommending him.—

I am as ever most dutifully and Affectionately Yours.

Jona Williams J

His Excellency Doctor Franklin.

Notation: Jonath: Williams Nantes Augst. 11. 1783


Nantes Augt. 11. 1783.

Dear & hond Sir.

I believe you have already Seen Mr Russell of Boston the Bearer of this who will pay his Respects to you in his Way to London. He has for some time Past been in my ’Counting House with a View of commercial Improvement, and from my own Observation I have the pleasure to assure you I think him a very discreet Sensible well informed & good Young Man,1 I beg leave to reccommend him as such to your kind Notice & am as ever most dutifully & affectionately Yours.

Jona Williams J

His Excellency Doctor Franklin.

Notation: Jonath. Williams Nantes August 11th. 1783.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9LeGrand Cannon (1762–1788) was a native of Norwalk, Conn., and the son of West India merchant John Cannon: Lorraine C. White, ed., The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records (55 vols., Baltimore, 1994–2002), XXXII, 28; Charles M. Selleck, Norwalk (Norwalk, Conn., 1896), p. 410.

1JW had employed a Thomas William Russell since the summer of 1782. He may have been from the Boston mercantile family of that name, as Jonathan Williams, Sr., had written a letter of introduction for him in early 1781: XXXIV, 346; JW to Russell, July 16, 1782, and JW’s cash book for 1782–83 (Yale University Library).

Gurdon Saltonstall Mumford recommended both men to WTF in a letter of Aug. 12. Cannon had worked for JW for a considerable period and was traveling with Russell (whom, Mumford believed, WTF already knew) on private business; they would deliver to BF a box of tea that JW had asked Mumford to forward. In the end they did not take it; JW brought it with him at the end of August: Mumford to WTF, Aug. 12, 1782 [i.e., 1783] (University of Pa. Library); JW to WTF, Aug. 16 and 31, 1783 (APS).

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