Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 19 February 1777

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes Feb. 19. 1777.

Dear and honored Sir

I am very sorry to hear that you have an attack of the Gout, but I hope it will soon be over.

As to Business I must refer you to the inclosed.8 As I suppose I am to stay here some time longer, I shall be glad to hear from you what my future Line of Life is to be, for I take it for granted that I am not to return to England again. Mr. Lee mention’d that you had views of forming some Company of french Merchts. and that I might probably have an opportunity of taking an active part in the plan; whatever it is I will do my utmost to give satisfaction. I don’t know whether your hint relative to Mr. Ss Daughter was designed as serious or not, but I assure you I do not think that the most impracticable thing in the World; my Situation in business being settled to satisfaction, this might become an object worthy of pursuit. My former Views of this kind with Miss A I consider as totally at an end on account of the War between her Country and mine and I have long since given up every expectation of the kind. This leaves me at full liberty and I assure you that tho’ I am not less sensible of Miss a’s merit yet I must do justice to Miss S.9 If I were settled here I imagine I could do great service to my Country but wherever you think I can be more usefull I am determined that no personal consideration shall prevent my obedience. I have written so much and so often to you that I fear I tire you with repetition, but I discover every thing that occurs to mind without m[asking?] or endeavouring to dress it with propriety, because I know you will kindly excuse whatever you find amiss and freely tell me of it. I am with great Respect Your dutifull and affectionate Kinsman

J Williams

Please to tell me what you think of Mr. Alexanders plans about the Tobacco Business.1

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8No doubt the preceding document.

9BF’s hint about a Schweighauser daughter was in his letter above of Feb. 5. JW’s choice was the next to eldest among many sisters, and four months later she was expecting a proposal: JW to BF below, June 24. By then he was having second thoughts, and they eventually led him back to the attachment, which he here disavows, to Mariamne Alexander.

1See the note on JW to BF above, Feb. 16.

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