Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deacon M. Auer, 18 July 1781

To Deacon M. Auer

AL (draft) and copy: Library of Congress

Passy, July 18. 1781

Reverend Sir,

I received the Letter you did me the Honour of Writing to me the 23d past, containing a Request that I would advance to the Widow Hockterin of Ebingen, the Sum of 1450 fl. which is said to be due to her from a Mr. Christian Schneider at Germantown in Pennsylvania.5 As I have no Knowledge of M. Schneider, nor of Mrs Hockterin, nor of the Justice of the Demand upon him, I hope you will excuse my not chusing to6 hazard the Payment of his Debts for him to her without his Orders. But if he will pay the Money into the Hands of Mr Richard Bache, of Philadelphia, my Son in law, I will upon Sight of his Receipt for the same, remit the Value directly to Mrs Hockterin. And my Advice is, that you would make this Proposition to Mr Schneider, in 4 Letters which I may send by different Ships, and direct him to take 4 different Receipts for the Money when he pays it, and transmit three of them also to me by different Ships, keeping one for his own Security. If M. Schneider refuses to pay the Money, and a Lawsuit should be necessary to compell him, then the Method I have had the Honour to mention to his Excey. le Baron de Thun should be taken, of sending a Procuration to Mr Holker.7 I have the honour to be Reverend Sir, Your &c.8

Mr Auer Ministre d’Eglise dans le Wirtemberg

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Although no letter from Auer of June 23 is extant, he had written in August, 1779, and June, 1780, seeking BF’s assistance for the widow Höklerin (or “Hoklins,” as Auer first called her) in recovering money owed to her deceased son in Pennsylvania: XXX, 189–90.

6BF first wrote “I do not chuse to”.

7See BF to de Thun, July 17, above.

8Auer answered BF on Sept. 1, thanking him for his concern for the poor widow and her children. He has written to RB, as BF suggested, and begs the American minister, “pour L’Amour de notre Seigneur Jesus Christ,” to forward the letters to Philadelphia. APS.

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