Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Jefferson, 6 May 1781

To Thomas Jefferson

LS:4 Pierpont Morgan Library; AL (draft) and copy: Library of Congress

Passy, May 6. 1781.

Dear Sir

This will be delivered to your Excellency by Mr. Grieve, who goes to America with a View of establishing himself in the State of Virginia, where he has also some Business in which your Countenance & Protection may be of great Service to him. I beg leave to recommend him to you as a Gentleman, who has always been a Steady and serviceable Friend to our glorious Cause, and who will I doubt not make a valuable Citizen of the State5 over which you so worthily preside.6

Permit me by this Occasion to mention again the Case of Mr. Paradies who married a Daughter of the late Col. Ludwell. His Affairs still detain him in England with his Wife; but their Intention is to go to Virginia as soon as possible;7 and as they have ever been firm in the Sentiments of good Americans, I hope their Absence will not be prejudicial to them. With the greatest Esteem & best Wishes for your Health & Happiness, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Exy. Govr. Jefferson

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4In the hand of L’Air de Lamotte except for the last eight words of the complimentary close, which are in BF’s hand.

5In his draft BF first wrote “Citizen of the United States”.

6BF originally drafted it as “under your Government”.

7Not until 1787, however, would John and Lucy Ludwell Paradise visit her native Virginia: Archibald B. Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg (Richmond, 1942), pp. 273–4. BF’s previous letter to Jefferson on Paradise’s behalf is no longer extant. The proposed visit, like Paradise’s naturalization (XXXIII, 362n), was intended to prevent the sequestration of his wife’s properties when a two-year grace period granted by the Va. General Assembly expired: XXIX, 524n; Shepperson, Paradise and Ludwell, pp. 147–9.

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