Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Ridout, 12 December 1779

From John Ridout5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Annapolis in Maryland Decemr. 12. 1779.

Dear Sir

The Multiplicity of important Affairs which must of late have engrossed your Attention & the Length of Time that has elapsed since I had last the pleasure of being in your Company may perhaps have effaced my Name from your Memory, but knowing your Benevolence to be such that you are ever ready to confer Favours, I take the liberty relying on that to give this Letter to a Brother of mine who is about to embark for Burdeaux & will I expect thence proceed to Boullougn sur Mer to transact some Business with Mrs Ogle a Sister of your old Friend Colo Tasker & my Mother in Law who resides there, having removed thither from London at the Commencement of the War.6 Should Mr Thos. Ridout7 have Occasion to apply to you for your kind Offices I flatter myself he will not be disappointed in the hopes I have encouraged him to entertain. If he should pass near the Place of your Residence I have desired him (tho he should not have Business of his own to trouble you with) to wait on you from an Opinion that you may be glad to hear of the Welfare of your & my intimate Friend Mr Carroll & other Gentlemen of your Acquaintance in this part of America— Wishing you a Continuance of Health & every other Blessing I am with the greatest Respect & Esteem Dear Sir your most obedt humble Servt

J. Ridout

His Excellency Doctor Franklin

Addressed: To His Excellency / Benjamin Franklin Esqr / Minister Plenepotentiary from / the United States of No America / at the Court of France

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5John Ridout (1732–97) came to Maryland as secretary to Gov. Horatio Sharpe, became a member of the Governor’s Council, and built a fine house in which he entertained George Washington. He did not participate in the Revolution, however: Walter B. Norris, Annapolis, Its Colonial and Naval Story (New York, 1925), pp. 106–7; Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds., The Diaries of George Washington (6 vols., Charlottesville, 1976–9), III, 56, 137, 206.

6Col. Benjamin Tasker (VI, 167n) was a Maryland delegate to the Albany Congress. His sister, Anne Tasker Ogle (b. 1728) was the widow of Maryland governor Samuel Ogle (c. 1702–52, for whom see the DAB): Christopher Johnston, “The Tasker Family,” Md. Hist. Mag. IV (1909), 192. Their daughter Mary married John Ridout in 1765: Norris, Annapolis, p. 106.

7Thomas Ridout (1754–1829) was John Ridout’s half-brother and later became Surveyor-General of Upper Canada: “Reminiscences of Thomas Ridout,” Md. Hist. Mag. XX (1925), 215.

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