Benjamin Franklin Papers

Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners, 8 March 1777

Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes March 8. 1777.


As I don’t hear farther relative to the purchase of Mr. Montieu’s Fusils I conclude that you do not intend to put any on board the Count de Vergennes, so propose to put in her as much salt as will answer for Ballast. I have lately been looking over some Memoires about Mr. Montieu’s process8 and find that these Fuzils cost him at the rate of 25 sous each for those capable of repair and 10 sous each for those that are not, with a Condition that none of them should ever be sold in the Kingdom. This circumstance makes it sure that if you don’t by them nobody else can (except for the negro Trade) and therefore that you will have nobody to outbid you. Mr. Shweighausser desires to know whether you approve of having Capt. Toaklys Brig sold; as she now lays at the Expence of 400 Dollars per Month, she will otherwise soon eat out her Value. The Balance remaining in his hands on the Cargo of Tobacco he tells me has been called for, and agreeable to his orders he must pay it to Mr. Pennet. I have the honor to be with greatest Respect Gentlemen Your most obedient Servant

J Williams Junr

The Honourable The Deputies of The United States.

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin LLD / a l’Hotel d’Hambourg / Rue Jacob. / a Paris.

Notation: Jona Williams Nantes March 8. 77

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8His trial. As a result of the Bellegarde affair (above, XXII, 464) Montieu was tried before a military tribunal in 1773, imprisoned until the autumn of 1774, and fined 250,000 l.t. Bachaumont, Mémoires secrets, VIII, 198–9.

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