Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Barry, 4 March 1782

From John Barry

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: New-York Historical Society

L’Orient March 4. 1782


An oversight in my last7 gives me an Opportunity to write your Excellency, a few lines before I sail— Not inclosing the Account I mentioned, and further wish to acquaint you that the Alliance is by no means fit to take Dry Goods on board, it being impossible in a gale of Wind to keep them from Damaging, ev’ry place in the Ship being wett, owing to her working so much in bad Weather, in short Frigate is by no means calculated to Carry Goods,8 they are in general so sharp built that they can but barely carry Provisions & water for their Crew, in a passage from Europe to America, especially if they Chace ev’ry Vessell they See. As I am left to my own option in that Respect I shall Certainly endeavour to speak ev’ry Vessel I see, taking care to be prudent.

I Remain with Respect Your Most Obt. Huml Servt—

John Barry

His Excellency Benja. Franklin Esqr

Addressed: His Excellency / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Plenipontiary for the United / States of America / Paris / Passey

Endorsed: Alliance Capt Barry

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Dated Feb. 29, above.

8Barry did, however, agree to carry five bales on public account from Jonathan Nesbitt & Co., plus a shipment of claret and a small box for La Luzerne: William Bell Clark, Gallant John Barry, 1745–1803: the Story of a Naval Hero of Two Wars (New York, 1938), p. 252.

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