Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Holker, 31 December 1783

From John Holker

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Rouen 31 of Decbr 1783

Most Worthe friend

I have not words to express, the Pleaseur I had in Receving your very kind leter, which you was so good as to send me by Mr. Lamot,5 for allthoug I have not seen you for this lage(?) Past, my heart warms when ever I here your Naime mensiend, as does my wife,6 for She Loves you sincearly. Could wee but have the Pleaseur to Injoy you here, was it but for a few days, it woud make us very happey, you know you promisd us this favor before you quit the Country, & wee air in hopes youl keep your word.

I see somtime past a Relation of David Hartleys,7 & I praid him to tell him, that youd give him the meeting here in the Spring; If he excepts of the offer I hope youl not faile him, and wee shall strive to make you bouth satisfied with your visit. You have now accomplished all you wanted, & wished for; which does you an Eternel honour, & Really it is heigh time you Injoy your Self, could the wishes of my Wife & me Contribut to your future happeness no one should be more so, which is the Sentements of your Sincear friend My Dr. Sir your Most Obedt & affectionet humble sert

J Holker

PS Our best Complements attend your Son8 from my wife & Dougter Inlaw,9 who where very Sencible as well as my Self for his Kind Rememberance, I found the wheels you Mension on Board of an English Vessel,1 and Claimed by Mr. Garvey your Consil here,2 who will forward them by the fert occasion by water, but I am affread youl think it long as the Rever wont be Navegable so soon

Notation: Holker Rouen 31. Decr. 1783—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5L’Air de Lamotte. The letter BF sent has not been found.

6Marie-Marguerite Thérèse Ribard Holker (XXX, 436n) was his second wife: ODNB, under John Holker.

7Probably Hartley’s cousin Samuel Hartley, a London merchant who had visited France in 1780 (XXV, 579n; XXXIII, 332n, 369–70).


9Elisabeth-Julie Quesnel Holker (XXXVI, 618n).

1Which John Viny had shipped to Rouen aboard the Friendship; see Viny to BF, [after Nov. 28], above.

2Probably Antoine Garvey, a partner in the firm R. & A. Garvey (XXX, 436n; XXXII, 469), who was an American agent in Rouen. Holker later recommended him to TJ for a consulship: Jefferson Papers, XIV, 62n. Garvey had been second consul of the Chambre de Commerce at Rouen in 1778: Guy Richard, “A Propos des Garvey: les gentilshommes commerçants irlandais de Rouen au XVIIIe Siècle,” Annales de Normandie, XI (1961), 240–2.

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