Son of Samuel Vaughan, one of Franklin's closest friends.
Studied the wine business in Bordeaux (c. 1778-82). While in France, he corresponded with Benjamin and William Temple Franklin, sending them shipping information and requesting aid in settling in America.
Left France (1781). Captured by the British off the American coast before finally arriving in Philadelphia (1782). Stayed with Sally and Richard Bache and prepared for the arrival of his father and younger siblings from Jamaica (1783).