Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from ——— Purtchaires, 20 January 1778: résumé

From ——— Purtchaires9

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Toul, January 20, 1778, in French: At forty-five I have served my country as a magistrate for the statutory term, and deserve to retire. A large family requires further work from me, and I have a thousand louis with which to make a good start in the United States, where land needs only men. To adopt this plan without advice would be irreparable stupidity; it can succeed with your protection, for which I ask. I am not unworthy. My motives do not disgrace me or you, and I could cite my sponsors (M. de la Galaisiere, conseiller d’etat, and Mr. de Brocvielle, curé of Versailles1) if the post I hold did not sufficiently prove that neither wretchedness nor infamy is behind my emigrating. Give me, then, your guidance.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9He addresses BF as “Monsieur L’ambassadeur” and signs himself “doÿen des Conseilliers du presidial.” BF’s endorsement reads “Purtchaires / would go to Ama.”

1Antoine-Martin Chaumont, marquis de la Galaizière, was a high administrator in Lorraine, who had been responsible for the rebuilding of Nancy and was afterward a councillor of Louis XV. Brocquevielle was curé of the town of Versailles. Michel Antoine, Le Conseil du roi sous le règne de Louis XV (Geneva, 1970), p. 195 n; Almanach de Versailles for 1777, p. 238.

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