unacquainted with," which he could sign in perfect honesty without, perhaps, doing too much harm to Franco-American relations. There is no evidence that he ever gave this letter to an actual applicant, but at least the writing of it afforded him a little fun and some emotional relief.
Paris, April 2, 1777
The Bearer of this who is going to America, presses me to give him a Letter of Recommendation, tho' I know nothing of him, not even his Name. This may seem extraordinary, but I assure you it is not uncommon here. Sometimes indeed one unknown Person brings me another equally unknown, to recommend him; and sometimes they recommend one another! As to this Gentleman, I must refer you to himself for his Character and Merits, with which he is certainly better acquainted than I can possibly be. I recommend him however to those Civilities which every Stranger, of whom one knows no Harm, has a Right to, and I request you will do him all the good Offices and show him all the Favour that on further Acquaintance you shall find him to deserve. I have the honour to be, etc.
[ B. Franklin]
LIFE as American representative in France was demanding and often tedious; Franklin's official correspondence was heavy and usually rather dull. So he was the more grateful for the warm friendships he formed with several individuals in Paris, especially with women. Cheerfully and gracefully these ladies promoted his republican propaganda and assisted his diplomatic efforts; and in their company and in the letters he exchanged with some of them he discovered an agreeable relaxation. His personal letters