Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Vergennes, 20 April 1782

From Vergennes

L and transcript: National Archives

Vlles le 20. Avril 1782.

M. le Cte. de Vergennes a l’honneur d’envoyer à Monsieur franklin un Memoire qui lui a été adressé par l’ambassadeur du Roi en Suisse.8 Il le prie de vouloir bien lui faire parvenir dans le temps la reponse dont il le croira susceptible.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The memoir, addressed to “Son Excellence Sir Franklin,” is an appeal from Jean-Jacques Vallier (or Wallier) dated March 28 from Solothurn, Switzerland. Vallier and his younger brother Jean had been staying in Edenton, N.C., at the home of François La Fond, when the brother died of a fever. The attending physician, French naval surgeon Dominique Pambrun, signed a death certificate on Feb. 14, 1781 (the text of which is provided), but, being in French, it could not be certified as legal by the Edenton officials. Vallier was unable to procure an English version before joining the ship Washington, which was captured by the British off St. Eustatius. Now recovering from an illness contracted at sea, he asks BF’s help in procuring a valid death certificate from the Edenton authorities so that he can claim his brother’s estate. The vicomte de Polignac, French ambassador in Solothurn (XXVIII, 80n), has agreed to forward this appeal. This memoir and an English translation are both at the National Archives.

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