Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Jean de Neufville, 18 March 1779

To Jean de Neufville

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy March 18 1779


I hope you got safe home & had a happy meeting with your Family & Friends; and that you will succeed in your Undertaking.3

I have considered the Memorial of the Person who calls himself Baron de Mons, & have made some Inquiries. I have since your Departure received a long Letter from Me. La Baronne de Mons.4 Upon the whole I am of Opinion that their Story is all a Fiction, and that they are Imposters and have no such Estates in America. I give you this Information, that you may be careful in making farther Advances to them. She writes from Altona. I have the Honor to be &c.

M. Neufville

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3To raise an American loan in the Netherlands.

4Among BF’s papers at the APS are two documents in French concerning a Samuel Stanley, Baron de Mons. One is a Sept. 18, 1778, memorandum from him to Congress reclaiming his property rights in Massachusetts and South Carolina and giving power of attorney to De Neufville & fils, Jean de Neufville’s banking house. The memorandum also describes the properties in question, the former, near Boston, containing 100 acres, and the latter, near Charleston, 160 acres. The second document is a March 5, 1779, letter from the baroness de Mons reporting that they are at Altona (adjoining Hamburg) and that the baron is ill. She explains their claims, repeating much of the information from the earlier memorandum.

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