Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Barry, 31 October 1782

From John Barry

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania; copy: Library of Congress

L Orient Octo. 31. 1782


Having nothing to Communicate to your Excellency of any consequence but my Arrival here,9 and that Mr. Barclay promised me he would anounce— I therefore thought it would be only Troubling your Excellency to write, as I was at that time in Expectation of being to Sea before an Answer Could Come from Paris— some Necessaries being wanting to the Ship has detained her Longer than I expected— Lieut. Barney of the Continental Ship General Washington being just arrived here & who Informs me he is Immediately under your Excellencys Particular Orders, as She was built on purpose for a Cruizer, and of Course will Carry but Little Goods, she will be of Little or no service on that head— If you mean her to go on a Cruize, I think you would render Great service to the United States to order her out with the Alliance.1

I have the Honor to be Sir, Your Excellencys Most Obedt. Humble Servt.

John Barry

His Excellency Benja. Franklin Esqr.

Addressed: His Excellency / Benja. Franklin Esqr. / Passey / pre / Paris

Endorsed: J. Barry L’Orient 31. 1782.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The Alliance, Barry’s frigate, arrived from New London on Oct. 17. For her cruise, which began on Aug. 4, see Morris Papers, VI, 625–6; William Bell Clark, Gallant John Barry, 1745–1803: the Story of a Naval Hero of Two Wars (New York, 1938), pp. 270–7.

1The copy here adds, “who will sail in about Ten Days.” Barry became ill and did not sail until Dec. 9, arriving in Martinique on Jan. 8: Clark, Barry, pp. 278–89. This is his last extant letter to BF.

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