From Benjamin Austin8
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Boston NE. 25th October 1777
The Important Conquest and Surrender of Genl. Burgoin and his whole Army to our Forces under the Command of Genl. Gates, has Induced the Council of this State to forward by Express an Account thereof to the Honble the Commissioners for American affairs at Paris; and as they have done my Son the Honor to be the bearer of this Intelligence,9 I beg leave Sir to address you in his favor, that you would be pleased to grant him your Friendship and Countenance which I shall Esteem as doing him great Honor and me a very particular favor: Your advice and Notice of him will give me great pleasure and Sattisfaction and am very happy that such a Friend to America in General, and this Town in particular, is on the Spot to advise and direct him. I beg leave to referr you to him for a more particular account of our affairs and am with the highest Esteem and respect Sir Your most Obedient and very humble Servant
To: The Honble Doctr. Benjamin Franklin Esqr.
Addressed: The Honble. / Doctr. Benjamin Franklin Esqr / Paris
8. A former Boston selectman and member of the committee of inspection, who at this time was serving on the Mass. Council; see L. Kinvin Wroth et al., eds., Province in Rebellion: a Documentary History of the Founding of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1774–1775 (2 vols., Cambridge and London, 1975), II, passim.
9. Jonathan Loring Austin (1747–1826) was a merchant of some prominence and the owner of a privateer; he had been an aide to Gen. Sullivan, and was currently secretary of the Mass. board of war. Three days before this letter was written the Mass. Council had appointed him to carry “this Intelligence,” a packet of dispatches. He sailed on the 31st, presumably buoyed by a minister’s recent prayer that the Lord, whatever he thought fit to do with the young man, would at least preserve the packet. Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, XVI, 303–4.