Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 14 June 1782

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Yale University Library

Nantes June 14. 1782.

Dear & hond sir.

I wrote you last Post relative to a ship of 300 Tons which is offered for Freight to take out the public Stores. The proprietor of this Ship is Mr Arnoux one of our principal Merchants here2 & his son in Law Mr Mitchel3 will call on you to talk on the subject whatever you do with him therefore will be conclusive on Mr Arnoux & I will take Care of the Execution here.

I am as ever most dutifully & affectionately Yours

Jona Williams J

The Prisoners I wrote about on the 26 March are gone at last & left me to pay my Engagements for their Board &c. This Letter has never been answered but I hope you will not let me suffer a Loss which certainly ought to be a charge of State more especialy as the Men have arrears due.


[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Nicolas Arnous III (1719–1807), in addition to being one of the principal merchants and shipowners of Nantes, was a conseiller secrétaire du Roi and a former juge-consul: Yvonne Arnous Rivière, Nantes et ses messieurs les Arnous (Chabris, 1994), pp. 135, 137, 451; Villiers, Commerce colonial, pp. 193, 404; Jean Meyer, L’Armament nantais dans la deuxième moitié du XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1969), p. 265.

3Gabriel-Augustin Michel de Tharon (b. 1753), scion of a prominent Nantais merchant family, married Marie-Suzanne Arnous in 1778, when he was a deputy mayor of the city: Arnous Rivière, Les Arnous, pp. 102, 136–7.

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