Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Paradise and William Jones, 1 June 1779

From John Paradise and William Jones

AL: American Philosophical Society

1 June 1779.

Mr. Paradise and Mr. Jones present their best respects to Dr. Franklin. Being informed that the King’s passport was absolutely necessary for them to go out of France, they sent to Versailles for that purpose, and have just received the enclosed answer.6 May they trouble his Excellency to insert in his passport what they seem to want namely, that Mr. Paradise is an American gentleman born in Greece7 (if où ils sont nès must be taken literally,) and that Mr. Jones is an Englishman with one valet de chambre. They are ashamed of giving his Excellency this trouble and wish him perfect health and happiness.8

Addressed: A Son Excellence / Mr. Benj. Franklin / Ministre Plenipotentiaire / des Etats Unis / de l’Amerique

Notation: Paradise et Jones 1er juin 1779

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]


7Paradise was born in Salonica where his father, Peter, was British consul. His mother, née Lodvill, was half Greek. John Paradise actually never had set foot in nor sworn an oath of allegiance to America. Archibald B. Shepperson, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell (Richmond, Va., 1942), pp. 25, 147.

8On June 5 the Englishmen wrote from Calais: they had arrived there the day before and would embark for England in two hours. They thanked BF for his hospitality and expedition in procuring them a pass from Versailles; they were obliged to BF for the passport he had sent, which, although not immediately useful to them on the voyage, would remain a testimony of his friendship. They promised to deliver his two letters and please his friends with an account of his health. APS.

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