Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 11 October 1777

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes Octor. 11. 1777.

Dear and Honored Sir

Mr. Sollicoffre of whom you have already received recommendations will soon sail to settle in our Country, I believe in Virginia. He requests a Letter of Reccommendation from you to some person in that part of the Country and desires me to write to you for that purpose.5

I have been acquainted with him from the time of my first coming to Nantes and have always thought him an upright industrious deserving young man. He has been several years in the Counting House of M. Schweighausser and I believe has always supported that Character. I have never before asked recommendation of you in this way but I am induced now to do it from Friendship to M. Sollicofre. I am ever Yours most dutifully and Affectionatly

J Williams J

Addressed: a monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / Passy.

Notation: J. Williams

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Jean Conrad Zollickoffer, as he spelled himself, was born in Switzerland in 1742 and belonged to the widespread clan of bankers mentioned above, XXIV, 261 n. He was going to America to set himself up in business, and had apparently not decided where. BF probably gave him a recommendation, and he certainly carried others; Deane provided letters to acquaintances in Charleston and Virginia: Deane Papers, II, 125–6. An undated note from Schweighauser (APS) says that Zollickoffer had been with his house for fourteen years, and intended to establish a firm in Philadelphia under its auspices and those of other Nantais merchants. On April 7, 1780, Zollickoffer wrote from Bordeaux (APS) to announce his return and to forward letters to BF from Michael Hillegas and Sarah Bache. He subsequently went back to America, and died in Baltimore in 1796: Daughters of the Amer. Revolution, Lineage Books, CXLVIII (1919), 127–8.

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