From Jonathan Loring Austin8
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Boston 19th July 1783
Give me leave respected Sir to introduce to you my Brother Mr Benjamin Austin jr. & Mr Oliver Brewster (a young Gentleman of this Town who accompanys him on a Tour to Europe)9 who wish to have an Opportunity of paying their Respects to your Excellency & see that Country which has so generously exerted herself in behalf of America; & permit me to congratulate your Excellency on the glorious Event of Peace so honorable to America & beneficial to Mankind; & to assure you it is with sensible pleasure I felicitate you on this glorious Era, in the Accomplishment of which your Excellency has taken so distinguish’d a part, the Recollection must cause the most pleasing Reflections, & more than compensate for the many anxious hours when Hope & Fear for the fate of your Country ruled alternate; thus in the Eve of Life to see an Empire rising in this Western World, acknowledged free & independant by European Powers, is a grand Epoch to your former acquired Fame. May our internal police be as wisely regulated continue respectable, & terminate as gloriously, for the Benefit of Mankind in general—
Requesting you will honor my Brother & his Friend with your Notice Advice & usual Civilities, I remain with the highest Respect Your Excellency’s, Most Obedient & Very huml Servant
Jon L Austin
Please to make my Compliments agreable to Mr Franklin—
His Excellency Dr Franklin—
Notation: Austin Mr. John 3. July 1783.—
8. This appears to be Austin’s first letter since 1781, when he was last in France: XXXV, 297–8.
9. Thirty-one-year-old Benjamin Austin, Jr., Jonathan’s younger brother, and 27-year-old Oliver Brewster were merchants on their way to England and then France; see Cooper’s letters of recommendation immediately below. While they were in London, we believe they were among the Bostonians tricked into presenting their letters of introduction to Elkanah Watson’s dummy “Franklin”: XXXIX, 482–3n. After returning to America, Austin formed a business partnership with his brother Jonathan, became an outspoken political reformer, and served in the state Senate: ANB. Brewster died in Boston in 1812: American Antiquarian Society, Index of Obituaries in Massachusetts Centinel and Columbian Centinel, 1784 to 1840 (5 vols., Boston, 1961), I, 577.