From Thomas Pickerin2
ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: National Archives
Brest: Novemr. 23d. 1778
I Assume the Liberty of Writing you per this Post, advising you that Capt. Jones has impos’d on himself the dignity of a Continental Officer, and thereby securing all Desserters from American Vessels. to the great Prejudice of the United States.
As I humbly Conceive it a matter of great Consequence to suffer such Unnatrual & Illegal Proceedings, must humbly request of you to put a stop to his further proceedings—therein, and am Yr Most: Obedt hble: Servt.
NB I am now here in the Armed Ship Hampden belongg to Woodbury Langdon Esqr.3 & others; & now bound out on a Cruize—
Hnble. Benjn. Franklin
Addressed: To / The Honble. Benjn. Franklin / Ambassador for the United / States of America. / at / Paris
Notations: Mr Pickerin 23. Nov. 1778 / Mr Pickerin
2. Captain of the Hampden who on Oct. 2 had recaptured the French vessel La Constance, taken by the Guernsey privateer Swallow on Sept. 29: XXVII, 610–11. He was in the middle of legal difficulties which are well described in Pickerin and Rïou’s joint letter of Dec. 23 and Pickerin’s of Jan. 28, 1779.
3. For John Langdon’s brother Woodbury see the DAB.