Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Chevalier Du Ponceau, 30 December 1783

From the Chevalier Du Ponceau5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Island of Ré the 30th. Xber. [1783]


I am in the last uneasiness Concerning my Brother’s Fate. There is one year Since I receiv’d letters from him. I am afraid he Could be Sick; for I am at a loss how interpret Such a Silence. If by your assistance I could have knowledge of What it is become of him Nothing Could equal my obligations. He Was in the beginning under Secretary in the department of foreign affairs at Philadelphia but Mr. de Livingston having resigned, it is probable that he is now in an other Employement.6

I Inclose a Letter for him, under his ancient direction; you’ll do me a great favour in Conveying it to him. I assure you that I’ll never forget Such a Kindness.

Excuse me Sir, for the Liberty I take in troubling you but my unquietness is Without bound.

I have the honor to be Sir Your most humble & obedient Servant

Le Chr. Du Ponceau
officier in the regiment of saintonge

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5The chevalier and his sister had each written to BF earlier in 1783, worried about their brother Pierre-Etienne, who had been serving Congress as undersecretary of foreign affairs: XL, 71–2, 583–4.

6Pierre-Etienne (Peter Stephen) Du Ponceau resigned his position in early June, around the same time as Livingston’s resignation was accepted. He remained in Philadelphia for the rest of his life, becoming a prominent member of the bar and winning international acclaim as a scholar of Native American languages. He was elected to the APS in 1791, and eventually served as its president: XL, 72n; ANB; DAB; APS List of Members.

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