Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Sr., 20 December 1783

From Jonathan Williams, Sr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Boston Decr. 20th. 1783—

Dear sr—

I am honour’d with your favour of Sept 13th. Inclosing a Bill Drawn in my favr on Doctr. Cooper for 2722 Livres 16 s. 8 d. being the Amount of What you have paid for the Education & other expences of his Grand Son,4 you advice to apply to the Father if in Boston, I hear he is, but he is Shut up & good for nothing, Doctr. Cooper was Sick When I recd your Letter & Still remains at the point of death, but little hope if any of his Serviveing, there has been no time Since I recd your Bill that I Could have presented it, tho’ if the Doctr Should die as I Belive he will, I hope the famley will pay it, I dont Expect that Jhnnot will or Can pay it, if I Can Obtain it, I Will place it (agreeable to your desire) on Interest for your Sister,5 the money I recd for your Bills on Johnnot & Warin amo £171. Stg., my Wife & Aunt Settled before I Got home by her Note of hand, On Interest, which is at present better then any trade that I know off, I offerd aunt any of my Goods at the Cost when I got hom to the amo: of the Bills £171 Stg6 but She refus’d, & its much the best for her that She did, I must Loose, Goods are So plenty from all parts that they will not fetch the Cost,—Aunt Who now Lives at Cambridge with her daughter Collis,7 adviced me that there was a Seat that was formely ownd by Mr Oliver now Own’d by mr Andrew Cabot of Beverley, to be Sold, She thinks if you Should prefer Cambridge for a residence this Seat would Suit, you may remember the house it Stands about four miles & ½ from Charlestown ferry, one Miles & ½ from the Bridge, not a mile from the Colledge, has a boutifull prospect, a Garden of rich frute Stables & other Out houses with a hundred & Seventy Acres of Land,8 I only mention this as Aunt mention’d it to me, I told aunt that I Should be happy to receive any Commands from you that you please to give—my Love to your Son & all you Love, & belive me Ever Your Dutifull Nephew & most Hble Servant

Jona. Williams

Addressed: His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esqr / at Passy / In / France

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4BF’S letter is missing. For the bills he had paid on behalf of Samuel Cooper Johonnot, see XL, 59–60, 468–9, 507–8.

5On Sept. 13, the same day he wrote to Williams, BF informed Jane Mecom that he was making more money available for her: XL, 624.

6For BF’S plan to have Williams offer Mecom goods purchased in England amounting to the total of Winslow Warren’s and Gabriel Johonnot’s notes see XXXIX, 534n, 604; XL, 625; Van Doren, Franklin-Mecom, pp. 228–9.

7Jane Mecom Collas.

8The estate that Lieut. Gov. Thomas Oliver (XXI, 299n) abandoned in 1774 was purchased by Cabot in 1779; he sold it to Elbridge Gerry in 1787: Adeline A. Douglass, “Tory Row,” in Cambridge Sketches by Cambridge Authors, ed. Estelle M. H. Merrill (Cambridge, Mass., 1896), pp. 34–7.

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