Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Elias Boudinot, Junior, [11 December 1762]

To Elias Boudinot, Junior1

MS not found: reprinted from extract in American Art Association Sale Catalogue, Dec. 2, 3, 1926, Item no. 428.

[December 11, 1762]

I thank you for your kind congratulations on my return to my family and country. It gives me great pleasure to hear that you are married and well-settled and your brother and sister also.2 … I hope your good father’s indisposition will be of no long continuance. …

[B. Franklin]

[Mr. Boudenot]

1Elias Boudinot, Jr. (1740–1821), son of BF’s former neighbor (above, VII, 275 n), was born in Philadelphia but moved to Princeton, N.J., in about 1753, where his father became postmaster. After studying law with his brother-in-law, Richard Stockton, he opened an office in Elizabethtown in 1760. He married his teacher’s sister, Hannah Stockton, April 21, 1762. When the Revolutionary crisis developed he became a relatively conservative supporter of the American cause; Congress appointed him commissary-general of prisoners, 1777; he served as a member of Congress, 1777–84, president, 1782; and secretary of foreign affairs, 1783–84. He was director of the U. S. Mint, 1795–1805, and devoted the rest of his life to writing on religious subjects, including his final work, A Star in the West (1816), an attempt to prove the identity of the American Indians with the ten lost tribes of Israel. He was a trustee of the College of New Jersey for forty-nine years. DAB; George A. Boyd, Elias Boudinot Patriot and Statesman 1740–1821 (Princeton, 1952).

2John Boudinot (b. 1734), a physician, married Catherine Van Norden, but the date is not known. The elder sister Annis (1736–1801) had married Richard Stockton about 1755; and a younger one, Mary (1742–1801), married Abner Hetfield, but again the date has not been found.

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