Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William MacCreery, 8 April 1780

From William MacCreery9

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Bordeaux 8 April 1780


I had the pleasure of addressing you by last Tuesdays Post, & forwarded some Maryland News Papers, which hope you received.1 The News Papers and Journals of Congress which I received for you from mr. Lovell I now send by Captain Fray who will have the Honor to wait upon you on his arrival at Paris.

The Barron de Thuiliere who has just arrived from America, will do himself the pleasure to wait upon you also. He is Captain of the Regiment Royall deux-ponts, one of those ordered out to America (as I have here been informed) and I beleive he is not unknown to you.2

From the acquaintance which I have had with both these Gentlemen, [as] well in America as here, I think they have much merrit, and are attached to us. I can not say as much for a Barron Bonstellen, who came passenger in the Buckskin.3 He is our most inveterate Enemy, & gave out in America that he expected to be sent for to England, for the information he is capable of giving there. He purposes going to England, having had a Sister married there since his departure for America— He intends going to Paris shortly, by the way of Nantes: Shou’d he wait upon you, hope you will not be deceived in him.

I have the Honor to be with the greatest Respect Sir Your most Obedient and very humble Servant

Will MacCreery

Addressed: To The Honorable Doctor B. Franklin / M.P. from the U.S. of A. / at the Court of Versailles / at Passy / Favor’d by The Barron de Thuiliere.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Apparently this Maryland merchant had sailed to Baltimore on the Buckskin (XXIX, 334) and then back to Bordeaux on the same ship. While in Baltimore he sold cargo for its owners (Lesage & Cie.) for $130,000, with which he purchased 24 loan office certificates. He deposited these with Martin Oster, the French vice-consul in Philadelphia. Oster’s Dec. 8, 1779, declaration to this effect and a Dec. 18 financial statement are at the Yale University Library; so, too, is supporting documentation, including three March 12, 1781, signature attestations signed by BF.

1Only the last page of a covering letter, probably written on the same Tuesday (April 4), is extant. In it MacCreery refers to what must be d’Estaing’s recent American campaign, in which “every Friend to America” feels the admiral’s only fault was exposing himself to too much risk. (D’Estaing was wounded in the unsuccessful attack on Savannah.) He looks forward to Lafayette’s “Joyfull arrival” in America and promises to send by Capt. Fray (Frey), who will be leaving for Paris in a day or two, newspapers and congressional journals received from James Lovell. Will BF either give his respects to JA or tell MacCreery where he can write to him? APS.

2Thuillières had written BF before leaving for America, and BF warmly recommended him to Washington: XXIV, 147–9.

3The baron de Bonstellen came to America in search of an army commission; Congress refused but did pay for his return passage: JCC, XV, 1298.

Index Entries