Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Martha Laurens, [before 2 February 1783]

From Martha Laurens

AL: American Philosophical Society

Hotel d’Yorcke. [before February 2, 1783]8

Miss Laurens presents her respectful Compliments to his Excellency Doctor Franklin, & will be much obliged to him if he has any Letters directed for her, to send them by the Bearer of this Billet—

Addressed: His Excellency Dr Franklin / Passy—

Notation: Miss Laurens.—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The day she left for London, after a brief stopover in Paris. Accompanied only by a maid, Martha Laurens was hastening from Le Vigan in southern France to England, in order to join her ailing father. Their first day’s journey had been cut short by the loss of a carriage wheel; Samuel Vaughan, Jr., sent a replacement carriage the following morning: Samuel Vaughan, Jr., to WTF, Feb. 3, 1783 (APS). They arrived in London on Feb. 8: Joanna B. Gillespie, The Life and Times of Martha Laurens Ramsay, 1759–1811 (Columbia, S.C., 2001), pp. 102–3; Laurens Papers, XVI, 145, 150.

While she was in Paris, Martha visited BF accompanied by Benjamin Vaughan. During the conversation BF recommended to Vaughan that Britain send a “plain, downright, honest man” as its new ambassador to the French court and expressed his belief that such characteristics were essential to an ambassador at any court. He suggested the appointment of the Duke of Richmond: Benjamin Vaughan to Shelburne, Jan. 28, 1783 (typescript, APS).

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