Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Wilkinson, 12 March 1777

From William Wilkinson9

AL: American Philosophical Society

Paris, March 12th 1777

Mr. Wilkinson’s Compliments to Dr. Franklin and is sorry he could not find him at Hotel D Hamborg.

Twas not till this Day that Mr. W knew possitively where Dr. F was else should have sooner acquainted him that a Gentleman going to London early next Week who may be depended on will carry any Letters there carefully.

Mr. W also going himself to Nantz on Monday1 will convey any Letters the Dr. May have to that Place.

If by the Bearer Dr. F will be so kind as fix when the Letters will be ready Mr. Wilkinson will do himself the Pleasure of waiting on him for them.

Addressed: Dr Franklin

Notation: Wilkinson

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9A brother-in-law of Joseph Priestley and the brother of John Wilkinson, one of the leaders in developing effective iron-smelting in England. John’s feuds with William drove the latter to take refuge in France, where he too had great success in iron manufacture; his foundries near Nantes became famous. DNB under John Wilkinson. The tone of this note suggests that he had already been in touch with BF, and he tried again to see him before leaving for Nantes; see his note below under March 18. Yet more than two years later JW gave him an enthusiastic letter of introduction to BF: April 4, 1779, APS.

1We believe that he delayed his departure; see his note just cited.

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