Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr.: Two Letters, 28 November 1782

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.: Two Letters

(I) and (II) Copy: Yale University Library


Nantes le 28: 9bre 1782:

Dear & hond. sir,

This will be delivered you by Capt. Archd. Balneavis, Lieut Archd. MacLean, Mr. Ochiltree & Capt. Wm. Hamilton all paroled at York town the 26 Oct 1781. & taken on their Passage from NYork to London by the Ship Marquis de la Fayette arrived here to my address9 as they have pressing business in London they prefer going by land & on their way will wait on you. I will transmit you a Copy of their Paroles by the next post & the Originals they will shew you /.1

I am &


Nantes Nov 28. 82

Dr. & hond sir,

Inclosed you have the Paroles I have taken—the Copy of the Paroles already given Genl. Washington, and the names of the Officers in Question. These Gentlemen will wait on you & shew you Copies certified by me which I request may be destroyed when these are annulled /.

I am &

Dr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9These are most likely the British officers paroled by Washington whom JW mentioned in his letter of Nov. 21, above. Archibald Balneaves, Archibald McLean, and Duncan Ochiltree all served in the 71st regiment, of which Ochiltree was the quartermaster: Steven M. Baule and Stephen Gilbert, comps., British Army Officers who Served in the American Revolution, 1775–1783 (Westminster, Md., 2004), pp. 9, 123, 138.

1JW had written a version of this letter on Nov. 27, copied it into his letterbook (Yale University Library), and then crossed it out. It named one other officer in the group—John Kennedy of the 43rd regiment—who may have decided against traveling with the others to Paris. It also contained the following information about Mackintosh, Lt. Campbell, and Burns, three of the five prisoners named in JW’s Nov. 21 letter: that they “are paroled no further than Passy & then they will be considered still as Prisoners unless you think proper to grant them their Paroles & permission to go to England.” These three men obtained a parole at Passy on Dec. 6; see our annotation of the parole granted Lawrence Robert Campbell, Dec. 7.

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