Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Samuel Cooper, 12 November 1779

From Samuel Cooper

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Boston Novr. 12. 1779.


My little Grandson Samuel Cooper Johonnot will have the Honour of presenting this to you.9 Mr Adams kindly indulges him with a Portion of that Care which he gives to his own Sons who are nearly of his Age. He goes to France with a View to acquire the Purity of the French Language in Speaking and Writing. Young as he is, he has learned long ago to repeat and respect your Name. I hope this Voyage will contribute something towards forming him for future Service to his Country. Your Goodness I am perswaded will afford him that Countenance that his Situation may require. He already loves his Country and it’s Right, and in Consequence has a particular Respect for France, which I wish to increase.1 I send him partly, as a dear Pledge of my own Esteem and Gratitude for a Nation to whom my Country is so much indebted, and of my sincere Inclination to act, even in the tenderest Cases, in the true Spirit of the Alliance. I am, my dear Sir, with every Sentiment of Respect and Affection Your obedient humble Servant

Saml. Cooper

His Excellency Benjn. Franklin Esqr.

Addressed: His Excellency Benjn. Franklin Esqr / Minister Plenipotentiary from the / United States of America / at the Court of Versailles.

Endorsed: Saml. Cooper Nov 12 1779

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Samuel Cooper Johonnot (1768–1806), who accompanied the Adams party to Europe on the Sensible and then became a classmate and close friend of BFB. He will appear frequently in later volumes: Claude-Anne Lopez, “A Story of Grandfathers, Fathers, and Sons,” Yale University Library Gazette, LIII (1978–79), 177–95; Frederick Tuckerman, Thomas Cooper of Boston and His Descendants (Boston, 1890), pp. 7–8; Jeffery A. Smith, Franklin and Bache: Envisioning the Enlightened Republic (New York and Oxford, 1990), pp. 77–80.

1The salary secretly paid Cooper by the French minister to the United States, the chevalier de La Luzerne, may have bolstered his support for the French alliance: William C. Stinchcombe, The American Revolution and the French Alliance (Syracuse, 1969), pp. 94–5, 119–20.

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