Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from ――― D’honne, [after 3 June 1777]

From ––– D’honne5

AL: American Philosophical Society

Paris friday morning [after June 3, 1777].

Mrs. D’honne has the honour of presenting her compliments to Mr. Franklin and of Sending him 2 vol. of the history of America and 3 pamphlets which her Son has brought from Lord Shelburne.6 Mr. Franklin would have had them some days sooner if Mrs. D’honne had known how to direct them.

Addressed: A / Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / à passy / Même Maison de M. Chaumon / ancienne Maison de Mde. Valentinois / à passy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5In the spring of 1776 the abbé Morellet suggested that Mrs. D’honne’s son, who had already taught Priestley some French, would be an excellent tutor for Lord Shelburne’s children. The suggestion was accepted, and the young man arrived at Bowood the following February. Some three months later, to the abbé’s embarrassment, Shelburne sent him back without explanation; he was in Paris by June 3 (hence our dating of this note), when Morellet inquired of his employer what had gone wrong. See his letters to the Earl, April 12, 1776, and Feb. 8, June 3, 1777, in the Lansdowne MSS at Bowood. For the outline of this story we are much indebted to Professor Dorothy Medlin, an editor of the forthcoming letters of Morellet.

6The pamphlets are unidentifiable. The books were undoubtedly by BF’s old acquaintance, William Robertson: The History of America ... (2 vols., London, 1777); an announcement of the work appeared in the Public Advertiser on May 28, and a long review in the Monthly Rev., LVI (1777), 449–57.

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