Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Carmichael: Two Letters, 25 October 1780

From William Carmichael: Two Letters

(I) and (II) Copy: Library of Congress


Madrid 25th. Oct. 1780.

Dear Sir,

The Duke De Crillon,9 and who hath not heard of the Name of Crillon? does me the honour of accepting of an Introduction to you, which give me an Occasion of boasting of any influence with you to him, and to you of the honor he has done me by his Acquaintance & Friendship here. This Must be Clear to you when I mentione his name, tho’ that to those who know him, is his least Recommendation.— Have however the same Indulgence for my failings that you have always had, & if not for my sake, for that of the Duke who is every Way worthy of your Esteem. Receive him in a Manner that will do Credit to my Introduction for when you know him, I am sure you will have been pleased to have done it for his, I am Your Excellency’s, most obliged & m: h. S.

W. Carmichael

His Exy. B. Franklin.


Madrid 25. Oct. 1780.

Dear Sir,

I little thought when I mentioned to you the Pleasure I received from an introduction to the Family of the Prince de Masseran, that I should have ever had an Occasion of giving you an Opportunity of participating that Pleasure with me, But to the misfortune of all their Friends & of none more than myself, The Princes officers call him from this Country, and he does me the honor of accepting this Introduction to you, the only return in my power to make for all these Marks of his & the Princesses obliging notice, which they have shown me a Stranger in this Country.— You see me therefore in the Situation of an Insolent Debtor, with all the Inclination of an honest one to pay his just Debts, but without the ability, unless you will afford him the Means— Like him I am obliged to apply to my friends, and I certainly offer a great Interest, when I give you an Opportunity of profiting at Paris in the same Way that I have done at Madrid of a Society that will give you a pleasure in the Possession equal to my regret in being deprived of it. I intended for the Princess one of these engravings, for which I wrote to my name sake1 but as I am sure She will have much more Pleasure in the original than in a Copy, I must beg you to show it to her to advantage, which I am sure you much always do, if placed in the same Light as when seen by your Excellency’s Most obliged & humble Sert.

W. Carmichael.

His Excelly. B. Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Louis de Berton, duc de Crillon (1718–1796), a hero of the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War, who in 1762 had entered Spanish service: DBF. His greatest accomplishment, however, was the 1782 capture of Minorca, a project already under Spanish consideration: Montmorin to Vergennes, Oct. 30, 1780, (AAE).

1WTF. See also Carmichael to BF, Aug. 12.

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