Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Schweighauser, 30 October 1779

To Schweighauser

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Oct. 30. 1779.


The Last I had the honour of receiving from you was without date, But it contain’d your additional Explication or Reason in support of the second one per Cent. with which I acquiesce. I do not find that you have yet rectified the Charge of 5. per Ct. on more than one of the Cargoes of Tobacco.4

I now send the remainder of the Dispatches for Capt. Samson, wishing him a Good Voyage.5 Those Parcels which are marked, to be Sunk in cas of Capture, and all not marked News-papers he is to keep in a Separate Bag, containing a sufficient Weight, to be ready for that purpose. I hope he will not be too late to arrive in Boston. But if he Should find the Winds and Weather more favourable, he may go to the Southward, and make the Port most convenient. I am with great Regard. Sir y. m. ob. and m. h. S.

P.S. You will take a Recipit from Capt. Samson when you deliver him the Dispatches. They are in 14 Parcells and are already number’d.6

M. Schweighauser

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Very few letters from Schweighauser to BF are extant and we have found none which answers this description. BF discussed Schweighauser’s commission at length in his Sept. 17 letter to him, above.

5On Oct. 28 BF decided to wait no longer to send his dispatches; see the postscript to his letter to John Jay begun on Oct. 4. It then took some three months for Samson’s Mercury to reach America.

6Among BF’s papers at the University of Pa. Library is an undated list in WTF’s hand. It reads:

List of Dispatches, sent by the Mercury Packet, Capt. Sampson.Numbers.

  • 1. To the honble. J. Jay Esqr. President of Congress
  • 2. To the honble. the President of Congress.
  • 3. To Do——— News Papers———
  • 4 For the honble James Lovell Esq.
  • 5. Do———
  • 6. To the honble the Committee for Foreign Affairs
  • 7. Do——— News Papers———
  • 8. To the honble the Commissioners of the Navy for the Eastern Department— Boston
  • 9. To his Exy the Chevr. de la Luzerne
  • 10 To the honble Robert Morris Esq.
  • 11 Thomas Payne Esqr—
  • 12 Richd Bache Esqr.
  • 13 To Do———
  • 14 A Monsr Holker Consul de France

The verso bears WTF’s notation, “List of Dispatches sent by the Mercury” and, lined out by a later hand, “I acknowledge to have received the above fourteen Parcells of Mr. Jonathan Williams junior. At Nantes this [blank] Day of [blank].”

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