In the year 1780, an aid for Benjamin Franklin is called into Paris to assist Franklin with his daily activities and meetings. The aid’s name is Claude Bordeaux. Bordeaux brings his daughter Louisetta, a girl of seventeen. Louisetta aspires to be a journalist. She records the stories of her father and Benjamin Franklin’s meetings and encounters in her diary. This is her story written through her entries.
September 27, 1780: Assistance for the Minister
Today father and I arrived in Passy to live with Minister Franklin. I am very thrilled to be living with the minister. He is very popular here in France, my mother and younger sisters adore him and his fur cap and simplistic brown clothing. We will be staying on the state of Jacques-Donatien Leray de Chaumont. I am especially excited to be living practically down the road from King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. My brother wants me to sneak into their garden and try to spy on the Queen. But I would never do such a thing! Later today I will be attending dinner with father and Minister Franklin. I will be wearing my best clothes. Even though father insists I wear my powdered wig, I will not because Minister Franklin doesn’t wear wigs so nor will I. I look forward to spending the coming months with Minister and his grandsons. I will write about the biggest events that happen during my stay with Minister. Maybe I will turn them into a collection of writings.
So long for now,
December 16, 1781: Life With Ben
Ben is a very great man. He believes very much in freedom and simplicity. He lets me call him “Ben”. He was greatly annoyed with me calling him “Minister Franklin” or “Mister Franklin” or “Sir” so he just lets me call him “Ben”. Ben gave me a tour of Paris early in the year. I don’t get to see his grandsons much, they are almost always in Paris at bars and flirting with girls. Ben is seventy-five and can be a little kooky sometimes so he forgets things a lot. That’s why father and I are here in Passy. He also suffers from gout and gets very tired very easily but somehow he is always able to stay on task. He and father have been attending meetings concerning the Treaty of Paris that is being written as an act of peace between America, Britain, France and I do believe Spain. Even though he isn’t supposed to be, Ben is telling me what goes on in the meeting because he knows I am desperately interested. Ben is a jokester and has a good sense of humor. I am looking forward to our times together.
I’ll write soon,
September 5, 1783: The Treaty is Signed
The Treaty has been signed! America has been freed from those stuck up British snoots. I am proud of my country for helping the American colonists be freed. I feel there is pride to be shared throughout the hills of France. Ben has given me the account that was kept during the meeting here is an excerpt.
On this day, September 3 1783, the Treaty of Paris has been signed by representatives of Britain, America, France and Spain. The treaty declares freedom to the American colonists and this revolution to end. Britain has surrendered the land of Tobago and Senegal to France, West Florida to Spain and land West to the Mississippi to the Americans. Among the men that have signed the treaty was Benjamin Franklin, beloved by the French peoples.
Isn’t that great? More land for France, the colonists and Spain! I have already written to my friends and family back home in Normandy. Mother is thrilled and hopes she can come down to Paris to meet Ben. She might come even though she has six other children back at home. I suppose Isabel and Catherine could look after the other four, they are 16 now after all. But anyway, I hope Ben does stay a bit longer, he does love it here. I will miss him when leaves though, he has been a great friend these past months and I have learned a lot from him.
I will keep you posted on important events,
March 24, 1785: The Diplomat Departs
Ben’s departure from France was early this year. Father and I will be going home in a couple days. I have enjoyed my five years in Passy with Ben and I will miss him dearly. I do hope he writes to us. Mother unfortunately did not get a chance to meet him but we did get an autograph for her. Silly mother, such a fan. For the next couple years I’ll be working on my collection of this experience.
So I guess this is goodbye for now,
June 22, 1790: Ben’s Passing
We have just received word that our dear friend, Benjamin Franklin has passed. I enjoyed the years I got to spend with him. He died at the ripe old age of 84. He was the oldest person I knew. I will always remember the tricks we played on father and how he would tell me the day’s events and the things to come in the next meetings. Ben was a great friend of mine and father’s and we are sad to hear he is no longer with us. But we both know he is in the good hands of God. One day I will go to America and visit the places he lived. I would love to print something in his print shop in Boston. For now that journey will have to wait, because father has met someone who might me able to publish my collection of my years with Ben.
Age 12, Grade 7,
Berkeley Carroll School