Benjamin Franklin Papers

——— to the American Commissioners, 11 July 1778: résumé

——— to the American Commissioners1

AL: American Philosophical Society

<On board the Boston, Port Louis, July 11, 1778: Jerome Cazneau, sergeant of marines,2 obtained shore leave and persuaded the other Frenchmen aboard to quit the ship. He did everything in his power to alienate them from returning to duty. The General,3 though under orders to assist us, gave them the choice of staying or quitting, even though he was reminded that anyone who overstayed his leave for forty-eight hours without excuse forfeited all prize money. The trouble came from the complaints of a few Frenchmen about the strictness of Mr. Reed, our first lieutenant, and Mr. Bates, our third. We certify that the French have been indulged beyond what our regulations allow, and that those officers have the good will of every one else on board; thereto we append our names.4 The General was too partial to his countrymen to allow those officers to vindicate or even speak for themselves, and reminded Capt. Tucker that we were within range of his cannon.>

1Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 284–5, where it is printed as a letter from Reed and Bates. The document is more probably, we believe, a petition in their favor, which for some reason lacks signatures.

2See XXVI, 584 n for another conspiracy on the Boston to which Cazeneuve was privy.

3Gen. La Touche de Tréville is identified in our note on Tucker to the commissioners, July 12.

4Only the names of the two officers were appended, and they are not signatures but in the same hand as the rest of the text.

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