Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Cushing, Sr., 31 March 1777

From Thomas Cushing, Sr.

LS:1 American Philosophical Society

Boston March 31 1777


The above is a Coppy of mine of the 28 ultimo by Cap. Adams. This will be delivered you by my son, whom the Council of this State have Employed at the Continental expence to proceed to France and to deliver You a number of Letters which they have lately received, from the Secret Committee of Congress. I think myself happy that he will be under your Eye and direction while at Paris. I beg leave to recommend him to your Care and Patronage, not the least doubting but you will from time to time give him your best advice as to his Conduct and behaviour while with you, and that you will afford him your kind assistance in improving this tour to his best advantage. He is to be under your Directions with respect to his return, but if you should not have occasion to send him back soon and there is any Bussiness during his tarry in which you can employ him for the publick service, he will chearfully obey your Orders.2 Any kindness you may shew him or any Favors you may grant him shall be remarked with Gratitude by, Your most humble servant

Thomas Cushing

PS. I beg leave also to recommend to your Freindly Notice, Mr. Henry Newman, a nephew of mine who goes to France in the same vessell with my son upon Bussiness of his own.3

Hon. Benj Franklin Esq at Paris.

1The body of the letter is in the same unidentified hand that copied Cushing’s letter above of Feb. 28; the postscript is in Cushing’s.

2Little seems to be known about young Cushing except that he had married in 1772 and had recently been commissioned in a Boston regiment. James S. Cushing, A Genealogy of the Cushing Family (Montreal, 1905), p. 188; Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War . . . (17 vols., Boston, 1896–1908), IV, 304. His trip to France was probably connected with his father’s shipbuilding interests. He was in Paris by late spring; BF wrote to his father on May 27 that he expected the young man to go to Nantes with JW to acquaint himself with the merchant community there. Six months later Cushing was again in Paris and again setting out for Nantes: Deane Papers, II, 256. He sailed for home in February, 1778, and reached Portsmouth, N.H., on May 1: Butterfield, Adams Correspondence, III, 19–20.

3Henry Newman was born in 1756; his mother was the sister of Mrs. Cushing. Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston (39 vols., Boston, 1876–1909), XXIV, 289; above, XVIII, 265 n. Newman remained in Nantes when his cousin went to Paris, and returned home with him. BF to Cushing, just cited; Deane Papers, III, 446–7.

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