Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 10 April 1779

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Nantes April 10. 1779.

Dear & hond Sir.—

My Cousin Jona Williams tertius8 will have the honour of delivering you this.— He lately arrived from America & will therefore be able to give you many pieces of Information which perhaps may have not found their way through a public Channel.— His views in coming to France were principaly to reestablish his Health, having succeeded in this he wishes to see Paris & then return.—9

I beg leave to introduce him to your notice & Friendship, we have but one Name between us & from our Infancy we have divided each others affections.—1

I am ever Your most dutifully & affect

Jona Williams J

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8A son of John Williams, the “inspector,” he had studied in JA’s law office for two years following his graduation from Harvard in 1772: L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller B. Zobel, eds., Legal Papers of John Adams (3 vols., Cambridge, Mass., 1965), I, cxiii.

9BF received the young man for dinner every Sunday, according to Hezekiah Ford: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, II, 364.

1JW also wrote to WTF on April 10, requesting him to show his namesake the sights of Paris. Judging by the appreciative letter the young Williams sent WTF on June 3, the eve of his departure for America, WTF’s tour was completely satisfactory. Once back home, the young man’s health failed again, and he did not survive much longer than a year. JW reported his death to WTF on Aug. 8, 1780. All three letters are at the APS.

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