From Michel-Guillaume St. John de Crèvecœur
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Paris 30th. March 1782.
You’ll not think it Improper, I flatter myself, if I beg you’d direct me how to send some letters, either to Philadelphia or to Boston, those Last are for the Honoble. John Hancock;8 so many have hitherto miscaried for want of care in those in whose hands I had Placed them, that I find myself forced to ask you, what means I shall make use of & whether you’d not permit me to send them to your office, whence in due Time & more safely, they might be conveyed to America; my frequent disappointments on that head are the Cause of my Taking this freedom, which I beg you’d Excuse.
You had great reasons for doubting the other day the Taking of St. Christopher. It was then primature, but now, happily confirmed: Permit me to felicitate you on this Conquest.
I am with unfeigned Respect sir Your very Humble Servant
St. Jean DE Crevecœur
Hôtel Turgot Isle St. Louis Paris9
His Excellency Benjamin Franklin
Addressed: A / Son Excellence Benjamin Franklin Ecuyer / Passy
Notation: Crevecœur M. St. Jean de Paris 30 March 1782.
8. Crèvecœur was asking the governor to assist him in sending money to the two children he had left behind in Orange County, N.Y. On April 7, Crèvecœur explained this request in a letter to Caleb Davies of Boston, of whom he asked the same favor. BF, he said, had encouraged him to write Hancock and had himself written to the governor. He enclosed bills of exchange for Davies to use on behalf of his children (Mass. Hist. Soc.). The children, América-Francès (1770–1823) and Philippe-Louis (1774–1850), were living with a family in Boston: Robert de Crèvecœur, Saint John de Crèvecoeur, sa vie et ses ouvrages (1735–1813) (Paris, 1883), pp. 56, 85–8, 288; Julia Post Mitchell, St. Jean de Crèvecoeur (New York, 1916), pp. 62–4, 121–35, 314–15.
9. The Paris residence of the marquis Turgot, where Crèvecœur stayed on his arrival from Normandy: XXXV, 527; Robert de Crèvecœur, Crèvecoeur, pp. 67–8; Mitchell, Crèvecœur (New York, 1916), p. 67.