Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Daniel Roberdeau, 2 February 1784

From Daniel Roberdeau

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London Feby. 2d. 1784

Dear Sir

Mr. Vanderhorst with his Daughter3 are on an excursion to Paris, and their return will be most favorable for remittance, if you should, in consiquence of my Letter and a bill of Exchange enclosed to you a few days ago,4 have it in your power, you’ll oblige me to send by Mr. Vanderhorst who is directed in that case to pay the money, or transmit the seal to my Son5 whom I have left in Bristol for twelve months to learn the Art of refining of Sugar as I intend to establish that branch superadded to my dististillery, deranged during the late troubles, on my return to America.

Mr. Vanderhorst is a Gentleman of Character from South Carolina, and he and his Daughter desire attention all that you’ll be pleased to show to them will oblige Dear Sir Yr. most obedt. & very hume. Serv.

Daniel Roberdeau

Addressed: His Excellency / Doctor Benjaman Franklin / Minister Plenepotentiary at the Court of / France / Passe / Paris / Mr. Vanderhorst

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The merchant Elias Vanderhorst (1738–1816), born in Charleston, S.C., immigrated to Bristol in the early 1770s and served as American consul there from 1792 to 1815. Vanderhorst had five daughters who survived to adulthood; we do not know which of them accompanied him on this trip: information kindly provided by Graham Tratt, Bristol Record Office, Eng. See also Laurens Papers, XVI, 139n, 140–41n.

4The letter is published under the date of [January].

5Isaac Roberdeau (1763–1829) went to England with his father and spent four years there. He became a topographer and surveyor, and is best known as L’Enfant’s assistant in laying out Washington, D.C.: ANB; Roberdeau Buchanan, Genealogy of the Roberdeau Family … (Washington, D.C., 1876), pp. 34, 101, 104–22.

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