Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Dorcas Montgomery, 6 October 1783

From Dorcas Montgomery

AL: American Philosophical Society

Paris, Octr. 6th: 1783—

Mrs. Montgomery & Son,8 will have the Honor of Dining with Doctr. Franklin, on Friday next.—9

Addressed: A Son Excellence. / Monsieur Franklin / en Son Hotel / A Passy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Thirteen-year-old Robert: XXXV, 481n.

9Oct. 10. Decades later, TJ told a story he had heard about a gathering of English and French speakers at BF’S house at which Dorcas Montgomery made herself “ridiculous” by repeatedly correcting BF’S French, though hers was not much better. (TJ characterized BF’S French as “wretched.”) When she took it upon herself to answer a question that BF had addressed to Sarah Jay, she made an elementary French mistake—to the amusement of the crowd—that turned an innocuous statement into something off-color: John C. Van Horne and Lee W. Formwalt, eds., The Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (3 vols., New Haven, 1984–88), 1, 234–6. This incident had to have taken place before May, 1784, when the Jays left France.

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