The personal connections of Revolutionary-era Americans and their Parisian allies shine though this John Adams letter. In the midst of the war, the Reverend Samuel Cooper of Boston wrote to Benjamin Franklin, then ambassador to France, introducing his grandson Samuel Cooper Johonnot. The young man crossed the Atlantic with John Adams and the pair traveled to Paris, where Johonnot’s goal was to “acquire the Purity of the French Language in Speaking and Writing.” Adams then travelled on to Holland to negotiate commercial treaties for the new United States, leaving the boy without a guardian. Even though Johonnot already had a letter of introduction to Franklin from his grandfather, Franklin still insisted the boy write Adams to obtain permission for Franklin to assume the role of guardian.
Read this letter, written 232 years ago today . . .