From Peter Faneuil Jones1
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Dunkerque Decr: 14th: 1780
Necessity Obliges me to Trouble you for some Assistance After stateing my Case to you, your Exellency will be Able to Act According. I sail’d the 27th: Decemr: last in the Continental Frigate Alliance Commanded By John Paul Jones Esqr: and on the 8th: Jany: we fell in with and Captur’d a Dutch Brig Call’d the Burke Bosch from Liverpool bound to Leghorn With an English Cargo said Brig Capt: Jones thought propper to give me the Command off with Orders to proceed to Philidelphia But Distress of Weather and a Leakey Vessell Obliged me to Shape my Course for Martinico but I was Unfortunately Taken on the 10th: March last by the Gray hound Frigate and Savage Sloop of War and Carried to St: Lucia from thence to Barbadoes then to St: Christophers then to Jamaica from thence to Portsmouth where I found Means to give them the Slip and got over to flushing and Travelled to this place haveing But three Shillings and sixpence when I sett off from flushing and the Cloaths I had on my Back; and as I was in the Congress Service I hope your Exellency will be pleased to send me some Assistance to Replace the Cloaths and Navigation Books and Instruments which I have lost your Complying with this Request will be Ever Acknowledged By him who is, with the Greatest Respect Your Most Obedient & Most Humble Servt:
Peter Faneuil Jones
To his Exellency Benjn: Franklin2
Addressed: A Son / Excellence Mr. Bn Franklin / Ministre plenipotentaire des Etats / unis de L’amerique A la / cour de france / a Passi Pres Paris
1. Whom John Paul Jones in a May 10, 1782, letter to Robert R. Livingston described as both a “Gentleman of Boston” and an assistant navigator whom he selected to pilot the Berkensbosch to America: Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 7, no. 1398. Probably he was the ship captain from Marblehead of that name, an exchanged prisoner: Naval Docs., I, 1366; V, 559; Claghorn, Naval Officers, p. 169.
2. The following day Jones wrote a similar letter (APS), which he sent with a Mr. Hemmenway. This undoubtedly was John Hemmenway, for whom see BF to Coffyn, Jan. 13, 1781. We have no record of a response.