Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Sir James Rutledge, 20 January 1778

From Sir James Rutledge3

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris 20th of Jan: 1778.


I take the Liberty of requesting one moment of your time, to Speake to you of a whole familÿ of british Subjects, their project is to go and Settle in North america. They are people of industry, familÿ and talents. The family consists in a father a daugther and two Cleaver young men. They intend to sett up in trade, and to correspond with europe. Every one in this family is acquainted with the English, french, and Dutch Langages. They will go over with both Cash and goods. It is my business to consult you on particulars, and one short audience will fulfill the Wishes of Sir Your most humble Servant.

Js Rutledge Bt.

By my Worthy friend Capn Courter4

Addressed: To / Dr Franklin. / Esqr.

Endorsed: Rutledge Paris A Family would go over

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3A Frenchman, as his English suggests. He was of Irish descent; his father, a Dunkirk merchant and banker, had received a baronetcy for services to the Old Pretender. The son was a publicist of considerable note (DNB), and his literary works have even elicited a dissertation: Raymond Las Vergnas, Le Chevalier Rutlidge “gentilhomme anglais” 1742–1794 (Paris, 1932). We do not know whether Sir James got his interview, and no other letter from him to BF is extant.

4Probably Herman Courter, who a few weeks later carried dispatches; see the commissioners to the committee for foreign affairs below, Feb. 17.

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