Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Alexander, 20 July 1776

From William Alexander3

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Lon[don 20 Ju]ly 1776

Dear Sir

I consider it as one of the great misfortunes of the times in which we live, that we are deprived of the pleasure of hearing from you. I need hardly say that you have the wishes of all Good Men for your welfare, and That you may be the happy Instrument of Restoring the public tranquility on a permanent basis for the General Good of Mankind, And for the Benefit of our Country. This Goes by Monsr. de Cauveroz a French Gentleman a Great Traveller who having visited many Countries in Europe, is desirous of seeing and knowing Men, and a Country that is now the Object of Attention in Europe and promises to furnish Matter for future History.

As Monsr. de Cauveroz is Entirely disengaged and a Batchelor He may perhaps wish to pass his remaining days in that state of tranquility which is only to be found in a free Country. I doubt not in this Case but you will give Him your best assistance in procuring a Proper setlement. His own merit will I doubt not Soon procure Him that Esteem and Confidence, which He enjoys with those who know Him. Your Nephew and all your Friends are well, as is my litle Family. I am ever with the most Sincere Esteem [Dear] Sir your most obedient humble Servant

William Alexander

Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esqr / Philadelphia / favour of / Mon de Cauveroz / QDC

Endorsed: Mr Alexander

Notations: Lett. from W Alexander London July 20. 1776. / Alexander William. July 20. 1776

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Since the previous summer the banker had been in prison for debt; see the note on Stevenson to BF above, Nov. 16. He was released under a general act of Parliament (16 Geo. III, c. 38), which became law in May, and then fled to Dijon: Price, France and the Chesapeake, II, 694, 699. This letter was presumably written between his release and his flight. Penciled at the top of the page is a notation in an unidentifiable hand, “July 20 76 Hotel St. Louis, à Dijon,” the address that Alexander provided in his letter to BF below, Dec. 22, 1776. Our guess is that BF took the present letter with him to France and, after receiving the later one, had the address noted.

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