Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Trumbull, 12 April 1780

From Jonathan Trumbull

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Lebanon Connecticut. April 12th: 1780


This will be deliver’d to you, by my youngest Son Colo. John Trumbull, whose Ambition of gaining a more extensive knowledge of foreign Nations, leads him to Europe.—9 I have to beg your notice of Him, while He may remain in Paris, and your Advice and Assistance in whatever He may request.—in fine I wish you to be his patron.—and I assure you, that nothing can give me more pleasure than to hear from you, that his manner of improving his Time.—and his Companions, meet your Approbation.

I have likewise to beg you to give him Credit, in Case of any Accident, as being made a prisoner &c.—and promise the most punctual Attention to his Bills drawn in your favor, for whatever Amount.

Of the News political or military, I cannot give you a better State in writing, than my Son will give in person.— I beg leave therefore to refer you to him, & am Sir, with every sentiment of Respect & Esteem Your most Obedt: Humble servant

Jonth: Trumbull

His Excelly B Franklin Esqr

Addressed: His Excelly. / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Minister Pleni: from the U. States of / America, at the Court of France

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9John Trumbull (1756–1843), had resigned from the Continental Army in 1777 after a dispute with Congress over the date of his commission. Thereafter he went to Boston to study art: DAB. On May 7, 1780, he sailed from New London on the armed French ship Négresse. After a five-week voyage to Nantes he proceeded to Paris. Discarding plans for a commercial venture he procured a now-missing introduction from BF to the painter Benjamin West: Theodore Sizer, ed., The Autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull, Patriot-Artist, 1756–1843 (New Haven and London, 1953), pp. 58–61. See also Irma B. Jaffe, John Trumbull Patriot-Artist of the Revolution (Boston, 1975), pp. 44–6.

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