Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Angus, 11 January 1782

From John Angus

LS: American Philosophical Society

L Orient 11 Jany 1782


I wrote you the 21 Decmr last, in consequence of being appointed to the command of the Brig Antonia, requesting a Commission under the Continental Flag—. She is intirely American property purchased on acct. of Messrs. La. Caze & Mallet Merchts. of Philadelphia, by Messrs. J. Sn. Berard of this place whose Certificate to this purport you have inclosed—9 the Brig is loaded & ready to sail some time ago, and detained on no other accot. then want of a Commission. Your Excellency after this Certificate I hope will have no objection in forwarding my Commission by the earliest opportunity.1 But if any such objections should rest with you, I hope your Excellency will forward a Register, which will much oblige sir your most obedient Huml servant

John Angus

His Excellency Benja. Franklin

Addressed: His Excellency / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Paris

Notation: J. Angus, L’Orient 11. Janvr. 1782.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The certificate, also dated Jan. 11, was signed J. J. Bérard & Comp., apparently by Thomas-Simon Bérard’s brother, Jean-Jacques. It certifies that the firm has purchased the brig Antonia of about 100 tons burden by order and for the account of La Caze & Mallet and intends to send her to Philadelphia under Angus’ command (APS). Meanwhile Thomas-Simon in Paris wrote WTF on Jan. 8 that he was willing to post bond on Angus’ behalf so that he would not have to travel to Paris (APS). See also the Jan. 11 letters from Bérard & Cie., Moylan, and Nesbitt, below.

1Among BF’s papers at the APS is a copy of a bond for 20,000 Spanish milled dollars for the Antonia, 8 guns and 20 men, posted by Angus and Thomas-Simon Bérard. It is written by Gurdon Mumford with insertions by WTF, is signed by Bérard on behalf of himself and Angus, says that Angus has received a commission, and contains WTF’s affidavit that it was signed, sealed, and delivered in his presence. It is dated Jan. 7 but must have been written in response to Bérard’s letter dated Jan. 8 (cited in the note above). The same day that the bond was issued, WTF sent Angus a hand-written copy by L’Air de Lamotte of the Congressional ordinance concerning the capture and condemnation of prizes (JCC, XIX, 314–16). On it, BF signed a note saying that he had sent it to Capt. John Angus on Jan. 7 (Poor Richard Club, Philadelphia, 1955).

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