Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 16 December 1779

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes Decem 16. 1779

dear & hond Sir.

Phillip Mazzei Esqr is lately arrived here from Ireland after having been captured on his passage from Virginia hither, and long confined by the Enemy. He tells me he is charged with public Business of an important Nature on the Subject of which he is ordered to consult with you. Being under some Embarrasement on accot of the Refusal of the Merchant on whom he had a Letter of Credit for 300 Louis, he applied to me for advice how to act, and his application to me is because he understood I had been charged with public Business and because I am connected with you. He tells me you are his old & intimate Friend & both in London and america was well acquainted with him,9 as such. I shall with pleasure show him every mark of Respect which you may wish and shall accordingly conform to such Directions as you may think proper to give in answer to his Letter which I inclose—.1

I never had the Satisfaction of knowing this Gentleman before, but the little I have seen of him now, gives a favourable Impression both as to his Integrity & Abilitys.

I am ever with the highest Respect Dear & hond Sir Your dutifull & affectionate kinsman

Jona Williams J

On reading this to Mr Mazzei he thinks I have said to much in calling him your intimate Friend as he does not claim any Intimacy which may lessen the Respect & Deference he owes you.

Doctor Franklin

Notations: Philip Mazzei / Jona Williams Dec 16. 79

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9In London BF had helped Mazzei obtain two Franklin stoves for the Grand Duke of Tuscany and encouraged him to go to America: XXII, 308n. Mazzei wrote to BF twice from Virginia in 1777: XXIV, 502–3, 520.

1Immediately above.

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