Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Robert R. Livingston, 27 April 1783

To Robert R. Livingston

LS6 and transcript: National Archives

Passy, 27 Apl. 1783.

Dear Sir,

The Count Del Verme, an Italian Nobleman of great Distinction, does me the honour to be the Bearer of this. I have not the satisfaction to be personally acquainted with this Gentleman, but am much sollicited by some of my particular Friends, to whom his Merits & Character are known, to afford him this Introduction to you.—7 He is, I understand, a great Traveller, and his view in going to America is merely to see the Country, & its great Men:— I pray you will shew him every Civility, & afford him that Counsel which as a Stranger he may stand in need of.—

With great Respect I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Sert.

B Franklin

The honble R. R. Livingston Esqr

Notation: Letter 27 April 1783 Dr. B. Franklin Read July 8.8

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6In WTF’s hand.

7Conte Francesco dal Verme of Milan (1758–1832) was a cousin of the Neapolitan ambassador to the British court. He was in the United States from June 30 to Dec. 21, bearing letters of introduction from JA and Laurens as well as BF. The Duke of Portland recommended him to the American commissioners, and David Hartley must have approached BF in person about a letter, as he did with JA: Smith, Letters, XX, 405; Morris Papers, VIII, 807n; Butterfield, John Adams Diary, III, 113–14; Francesco dal Verme, conte di Bobbio, Seeing America and Its Great Men: the Journal and Letters of Count Francesco dal Verme, 1783–1784, trans. Elizabeth Cometti (Charlottesville, 1969), pp. 5–62. Otherwise, we only know that BF was solicited in a highly circuitous way by several bankers (Caccia, Panchaud, and possibly Dangirard) who could hardly be considered “particular Friends”: Ferry to Henry Grand, April 16, 1783; Henry Grand to WTF, [after April 16, 1783], both at the APS.

8The same day, July 8, President of Congress Boudinot wrote dal Verme a letter of introduction to Washington. Washington in turn introduced him to the merchant Nathaniel Tracy: Smith, Letters, XX, 405; W. W. Abbot et al., eds., The Papers of George Washington, Confederation Series (6 vols., Charlottesville and London, 1992–97), I, 373–4n.

Index Entries