Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Daniel Mildred, 16 July 1782

From Daniel Mildred7

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London 16. 7mo 1782

Esteem’d Friend Benjamin Franklin

My friend Richard Vaux being on his Voyage to America and intending to pass thro’ France, I take the liberty of introducing him to thee as a Gentleman and a particular freind of mine.8 Any Civilities shewn him Shall esteem as confer’d on my Self and Should he have occasion for Cash if thou wilt do me the favour to Supply him to the Amount of One hundred Pounds his draught on Me for that sum shall be duly honoured. And thy Kindness gratefully acknowledged.

With unfeigned respect I remain thy Affectionate friend

Danl Mildred

Addressed: Benjamin Franklin Esq

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7This is the only extant letter between BF and Mildred, a Quaker merchant and partner in the London firm Mildred & Roberts, which had extensive Philadelphia connections: XVI, 169n; XIX, 292n.

8On July 24, BF granted a passport for Ostend to Richard Vaux (1751–1790), an English-born merchant who had apprenticed in Philadelphia and engaged during the war in trans-Atlantic trade: XXXVI, 380; ANB under his son Roberts Vaux. Two days later BF witnessed and certified Vaux’s signed “Affirmation of Allegiance to the United States of America.” As a Quaker, Vaux evidently did not swear oaths; the standard oath of allegiance drawn up by L’Air de Lamotte was altered accordingly. The phrase “do swear” was replaced with “Solemnly sincerely and truly Affirm and declare”, the closing “So help me God” was crossed out, and the statement of the witness, signed and dated by BF, was changed from “Sworn” to “Affirmed before me” (APS). The certification, written by WTF and signed by BF, was likewise altered to confirm an “Affirmation” of allegiance (Mrs. Daniel Buckley, Broadaxe, Pa. [1955]). Vaux settled in Philadelphia, where in 1784 he married Ann Roberts, the daughter of BF’s friend Hugh Roberts. By 1785, he was residing on Front Street: Elaine F. Crane, ed., The Diary of Elizabeth Drinker (3 vols., Boston, 1991), III, 2205, 2223; [John] Macpherson, Macpherson’s Directory, for the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, 1785), p. 140.

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