From Samuel Wharton
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Paris 28 June 1779
I send under Cover the News Paper, and learn by several Letters, which I received yesterday from London, That the Ministry and People were under very great Apprehensions of an Invasion, and the Destruction of their Commerce. One of our Friends writes me, That Orders were dispatched to Sir Charles Hardy to return immediately with the Fleet under his Command; and He wanted, of the proper Compliment for it, near four Thousand Men.5 The same Gentleman informs Me,—That the Detachment, which was sent from New York, consisting of abt. 2400, and commanded by Colonel Mathews,—was return’d from his Expedition on the Coast of Virginie, after destroying some Craft,—making a few Prisoners, and bringing off some Plunder.—6 My Son7 & I will do ourselves the Honor of dining with You on the 5th. of July.— A Day ever memorable for the most glorious Revolution, That ever signalised a People! I am with the sincerest Respect Your Excellency’s most obedt. & most humble Servt.
His Excellency Benjn. Franklin Esqr. &c &c &c—
Addressed: A Son Excellence / Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / &c &c &c / Passy
Notation: S. Wharton Paris 28 juin 1779
5. Actually Hardy’s orders, which did not arrive until after he set sail, were to put to sea immediately. See Wharton’s letter of June 21 and Patterson, The Other Armada, p. 107. For his shortage of sailors see ibid., p. 104.
6. The expedition mentioned in Wharton’s June 21 letter and in the annotation of Digges’ June 11 letter; it was far more successful than this letter implies, capturing Portsmouth and Norfolk, burning Suffolk and destroying many supplies: Richard K. Showman et al., eds., The Papers of General Nathanael Greene (5 vols. to date, Chapel Hill, 1976—), IV, 49–50n.
7. Joseph, who wrote BF on May 31.