Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Kearsley Read, 25 May 1780

From John Kearsley Read9

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Richmond, Virginia 25 May 80

My dear sir

I take the liberty to introduce to your particular regards, Mr. Joseph Mayo a gentleman of the first character & fortune in this country—1 I have not a doubt but his Situation in France, will be extremely elegible when patronized by you,—& shall consider yr. favours to him as done to myself.—

I wrote you by the fair [Fier] Rodrigue, enclosing letters to my freind Jones,2 since which I hear he is on the coast,— My Father3 &c join in affection & believe me to be My dear Uncle yr. affec. Nephew

J.K. Read

Dr. Franklin

Addressed: His excellency Benjn. Franklin Esqr. / Paris— / Hond. by / Jos. Mayo Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9DF’s nephew (X, 69n), who, as far as we know, had not written BF for almost four years. His latest extant letter is printed in XXII, 567–8.

1A future member of WTF’s circle of friends, he was in France by mid-September: Mayo to WTF, Sept. 18, 1780 (APS). Almost certainly he was the Joseph Mayo of Henrico County who died in 1785 while en route to Boston from Lisbon. His neighbors in Virginia were astonished by his will, which freed his 150–70 slaves: Jefferson Papers, VIII, 342–3.

2In November John Paul Jones acknowledged receiving several letters from him. Read apparently asked him for a loan: Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 6, no. 1262.

3John Read, Jr., seems to have maintained little contact with his brother-in-law BF; we have no record of any letters since 1766: XIII, 319–20.

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