Benjamin Franklin Papers

Joy Castle to the American Commissioners, 2 October 1778

Joy Castle9 to the American Commissioners

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Bordeaux October the 2: 78.


This May Inform you That I have got My Ship Which I ham Much Obliged to you all for and Shall Sail for the Contanent Verey Soon. If there is aney thing In My power to Sarve you In I Should be glad To have the honner to Execute your Comand. I Shall Mack for the Caps. of Virginia if Posable. I Should a Sailed Before this But My Whife has Been Verey Bad I Shall be Obliged to Leve her In Bordeaux Un till I Return from the Contanet. The frinch pass you gave Me Was onley Tow Mounths and it Is out and as I Shall have a Valabel Carger On Board of Wolans Wines Cordage and Salt I Should be glad if you Will Send Me Another Pass or a Rigester or What you think proper For My Security from here to the Contanent In Case of Meting of aney thing to Intircep Me as It May Attend to a bad Consequence to Me and the Shipers. And In So Doing you Will oblige your Most Obliged and humbel Servant to Comand

Joy Castle

P.S. I here Inclose a Copey of a Contanentel Rigester And bag the favour if a greable to you to Sine It or Send Me What you think proper as it will Not be Safe for Me to Sail untill I have sumthing From Under your hands to prove My property.1 It has been a handrance of Sum goods being Shiped With Me. My Ship is Called the Jane. Pleas to Deract to Me to the Care of Mr Bonfeld

Mursrs Benjm Franklin Ather Lee John Adams Esqrs. Commissiners from Congress

Addressed: Mursrs Benj. Franklin / Ather Lee John / Adams Esqrs / Commissiners from / Congress / at Paris2

Notation: Joy Castles Letter. Oct. 2. 1777

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9See XXVI, 528, 617, 669, 672–3, 686.

1The passport, for Castle, his family and servants, was issued under the commissioners’ signatures on June 27. We do not know whether they returned the register Castle enclosed (viz., a certification giving the name, ownership, etc. of the vessel-and in this case, clearly, of the cargo-as proof of nationality). The British must have captured the Jane on her voyage to America, for an English translation of the passport is in the Public Record Office.

2A column of figures, seemingly unrelated to the letter itself, appears next to the address.

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