From Jonathan Williams, Jr.
ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Yale University Library
Nantes July 29. 1780.
Dear & hond Sir.
I wrote you per last Post since which your Case of wine has been sent to the Messagerie.4 M de Francis arrived in Town from Rochelle last Evening he came passenger in the Fier Rodrigue which arrived at Isle de Rhe after first seeing her Convoy of 18 Sail safe in the Bordeaux River. M Dean is a passenger in the Fier Rodrigue. M de Francis5 tells me he left maryland the 14 June & at that Time they had no news of the Chevalier Ternay.— Our People are not in that State of despondence on accot of the Loss of Charlestown as has been represented, they are no doubt sorry for it but they are as firm as ever and will always support the Cause. I suppose you will have Letters by the Post from Rochelle & Bordeaux and consequently know all the Details: My Letters will not come to hand ’till Tuesday next. I have it not therefore in my Power to give you any particulars, As soon as I know anything further I will give you all that is interesting, and in turn I shall be obliged to you for such Information as you can with propriety give me.
The Jane a large Ship of 320 hhds of Tobacco sunk at about 60 Leagues from the Capes & the Fier Rodrigue saved the Crew.
I am ever with the greatest Respect Yours most dutifully & Affectionately
Jona Williams J
4. While at Passy, JW had so praised the Bordeaux wine supplied him by V. & P. French & nephew that he made his friends’ “mouths water for a taste of it.” On July 22, the day after he returned to Nantes, he requested the firm to ship one hogshead of the finest Bordeaux to each of three addressees: BF, Bancroft, and JA. Yale University Library. (He also ordered, the same day, a large English cheddar cheese taken from a prize ship at Lorient to be sent to Mme Helvétius: JW to James Cuming, July 22, Yale University Library.)
5. Théveneau de Francy, Beaumarchais’ secretary, who was returning from his mission to America where he signed a contract with Congress. See XXVII, 137, 382–3; XXVIII, 528n.