Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to the Baron de Thun, 17 July 1781

To the Baron de Thun1

AL (draft) and copy: Library of Congress

Passy, July 17. 1781


I am really ashamed to have been so long without answering the Letter your Excellency did me the honour of writing to me the 6th Instant. I had receiv’d one at the same time from the same Mr Auer,2 and it being in the German Writing which I cannot read, I sent it to a Friend requesting a Translation of it. I have waited for that, in order to be able to answer yours more particularly; and I have not yet been able to obtain it. I will therefore no longer delay making as good an Answer as I can; which is, that since his Letters to Pensilvania have produced no Effect, I would advise that a Power of Attorney, be sent to Mr Holker, or in his Absence, to the Consul General of France at Philadelphia for the Time being, enabling him to sue for the Money; which may so be easily obtain’d by the Laws of the Country, tho’ the Person in whose hands it is should not be honest enough to pay it willingly. Four Copies of the Power of Attorney, and of the Letter to accompany it, should be made and sent to me, that I may forward them by different Ships, for the greater Certainty of their getting to hand. With great and sincere Respect, I have the honour to be3

M. le Baron de Thun.

1Ulrich, Baron de Thun, was minister plenipotentiary to France for the Duke of Württemberg from 1757 to 1788: Repertorium der diplomatischen vertreter, III, 480; Dictionnaire de la Noblesse. He had written on July 6 (APS) indicating that his compatriot Deacon Auer had written to Germantown on behalf of a local widow but had received no response; see XXX, 190n.

2BF had received a June 23 letter, now missing, from Auer, which he acknowledged on July 18, below.

3BF wrote de Thun again the following day, stating that he had finally obtained a translation of Auer’s letter and enclosing his reply to the deacon (mentioned in the immediately preceding footnote). Library of Congress.

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