Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from “Prince” Mostowski, 16 February 1778

From “Prince” Mostowski6

AL: American Philosophical Society

A la Villette près de Paris ce 16. fevrier 1778.

Le Prince Mostowski Palatin du Duché de Mazovie après avoir pris lecture de l’interrogatoire que Monsieur Franklin a subit avec une présence d’esprit héroique, et une fermete rare, et après avoir examiné les belles Constitutions qui ressemblent presque à celles de sa Nation, a tout a fait changé des Sentiments et s’il avait eù Connaissance de ces Constitutions auparavant il n’aurait pas remis à Monsieur Franklin les papiers tels qu’ils sont.7

C’est pourquoi il désire d’avoir l’honneur de voir Monsieur Franklin vendredi prochain vers midi, il voudra bien lui marquer s’il sera libre. Comme le Prince n’a pas actuellement d’Anglois qui puisse traduire la rèponse de Monsieur franklin il désirerait qu’elle fut en français.

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / Docteur / à Passy. Maison de / Mr. Chaumont

Notation: Prince Mostowski

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6See BF’s note to him above, Feb. 3. The only other communications from Mostowski among BF’s papers are a brief note of April 13, 1778, asking for an interview, and a long, undated memorandum from him (APS). He has written the latter in the form of a Congressional grant in return for his services; it conveys in perpetuity to him and his heirs a principality in Virginia, to be called New Poland and colonized by Poles. Although he is to be titular governor with no other jurisdiction, he is nevertheless accorded a number of rights, such as coining money, exploiting minerals, etc. Another version of the same projected grant is in the N.-Y. Hist. Soc.; it locates New Poland in Florida or Carolina or Virginia, and adds that the prince is disposed to provide a quid pro quo in the form of a balm, which will cure wounded soldiers without medical help so that they can return to duty within a few days. Miecislaus Haiman, Poland and the American Revolutionary War (Chicago, 1932), p. 6.

7The translations of BF’s examination before the House of Commons were doubtless those published the previous autumn; see Ruault to BF above, Oct. 12. The American constitutions had appeared in the Affaires de l’Angleterre et de l’Amérique.

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