Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Henry Laurens: Two Letters, 4 June 1784

From Henry Laurens:4 Two Letters

(I) ALS: American Philosophical Society; (II) Copy: University of South Carolina Library


London 4th. June 1784.

Dear Sir.

Permit me to introduce at Passy, Mr. Parker5 a young Gentleman of an exceeding good character Son of John Parker Esquire a respectable & valuable Citizen of the State of South Carolina. Mr. Parker who is studying the Law, means to improve the next vacation by a Visit to Paris & is, as all the World are, desiros of seeing & paying Respects to Doctor Franklin.

I have the honor to be Sir Your Excellency’s Obedient humble servant

Henry Laurens

His Excellency B. Franklin Esquire Passy.

Notation: Henry Laurens, London 4 June 1784.—


London 4th. June 1784

Dear Sir,

Mr. Appleby the Gentleman who will do me the honor of presenting this, is an old friend of mine from an intimate acquaintance of thirty two Years, I pronounce him an “honest Man”,— My friend who is going to France for change of Air wishes to see Doctor Franklin and desires me to give him an Introduction, persuaded Sir that you will excuse the liberty, with pleasure I comply with his request. I have the honor to be With the highest Esteem and Regard, Sir, Your obedt & most hble Servant

Left under cover for Mr. Appleby at Mr. Bridgen’s.6

His Ey: Benj: Franklin Esqr: Passy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4These are Laurens’ last letters to BF before he and his son Henry, Jr., left for Falmouth, where they arrived on June 12 after stopping at Bath. They sailed from Falmouth to New York, arriving on Aug. 3: Laurens Papers, XVI, XLV, 457, 460, 481–3.

5John Parker, Jr. (1759–1832), was evidently completing his law studies, which had been interrupted during the war. He was in Paris by July 29, when he dined with WTF; he also consulted WTF about a servant. Upon returning to South Carolina in 1785, he was admitted to the bar, and from 1786 to 1788 he served as a delegate to Congress: Walter B. Edgar, N. Louise Bailey, et al., eds., Biographical Directory of the South Carolina House of Representatives (5 vols. to date, Columbia, 1974– ), III, 537–8; [Jean-François-Paul] Grand to WTF, July 29, 1784, APS; John Parker, Jr., to WTF, undated, APS.

6George Appleby was one of Laurens’ former business partners. On June 3 Laurens wrote to him that he would leave the present letter in Bridgen’s hands: Laurens Papers, XVI, 150n, 457–8.

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