Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Philip Schuyler, 1 July 1783

From Philip Schuyler3

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Albany July 1st. 1783

Dear Sir

Permit me to introduce to your Excellencys attention John Carter Esqr. my son-in-law and Colo: Wadsworth of Hartford4 they have been joint agents for supplying the french troops who have served in America. Count Rochambeau, General Chatlus5 and other of the General Officers have afforded me the pleasure of signifying to me, how well the Army was served, and how perfectly contented they were with the conduct of those two Gentlemen. They are going to sollicit in France, payment of the bills which have been drawn in their favor by the intendant of the Army.6 It is probable that you may able efficiently to intervene in their behalf, and permit me to intreat Your assistance to them.—7

Accept Sir of my best congratulations on the prospect of a speedy peace, and the perfect establishment of our independance. America is so much indebted to your exertions, on these important occassions, that I am persuaded every one of her honest citizens is pervaded with those sentiments of Gratitude, regard and esteem which I have the happiness intimately to feel.—

I have the honor to be with unfeigned Sincerity Dr. Sir Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Servant

Ph: Schuyler

His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esqr &c

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3BF had stayed with the general and his family on his way to Canada in the spring of 1776; see vol. 22.

4For Jeremiah Wadsworth and his business partner John “Carter” (an alias for Church), who had married Schuyler’s daughter Angelica in 1777, see XXXVIII, 546n.

5Probably the comte de Charlus (XXXVI, 133n).

6Benoît-Joseph de Tarlé, for whom see Morris to BF, May 27.

7Wadsworth, Carter, and Carter’s wife and children sailed on July 27, arriving in France one month later. John and Angelica Carter were already known to the Jays and Matthew Ridley: Morris Papers, VIII, 342, 566n, 598, 599. Several brief notes from the Carters to BF, written during their stay in Paris, suggest a comfortable friendship. Only one is altogether undated: “Mrs. Carter” sent word to BF on “Monday morning” that she would call on him accompanied by “the young Gentlemen” (APS). Her two eldest children were sons Philip and John, Jr., who would have been around five and four years old in the fall of 1783: Don R. Gerlach, Proud Patriot: Philip Schuyler and the War of Independence, 1775–1783 (Syracuse, 1987), p. 446.

It is not known when Angelica Carter discovered her husband’s true name, but BF learned of it, in confidence, in late October: John Jay to Sarah Livingston Jay, Oct. 26, 1783 (Columbia University Library). The couple were still writing to BF as Mr. and Mrs. Carter as late as Feb. 10, 1784 (APS), but by the time they left for England, Carter had reclaimed the name Church: Wadsworth and Church to BF, June 24, 1784 (APS).

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