George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain John Paul Jones, 6 August 1778

From Captain John Paul Jones

Passy near Paris August 6th 1778

Honored Sir

As the Scene of War by Sea is now Changing from America to Europe I have been induced to give up the Command of the American Ship of War Ranger and to continue for some time in Europe in compliance with the request of the Minister of the French Marine in a letter to our Ministers Plenipotentiary at the Court of Versailles.1

I will not intrude on your Excellencies time even by attempting to pay you the respect wh⟨ich⟩ you so Justly Command: the intention of this letter is o⟨nl⟩y ⟨to⟩ beg your acceptance of two Epaulettes with which it i⟨s acco⟩mpanied, and which my Freind Mr Williams of Nantes has undertaken to forward.2 I expected to have had the honor of delivering this little present into your own Hands—but not having that satisfaction If in the meantime I can render you any acceptable Services in France I hope you will Command me without reserve being with Sentiments of pe⟨r⟩fect Esteem Honored Sir Your very Obedient and Very humble Servant.

ADf, DLC: Peter Force Papers, John Paul Jones Collection; LB, MdAN; copy, DLC: Peter Force Papers, John Paul Jones Collection.

1See the letter from the French minister of marine and the colonies, Antoine-Raymond-Gualbert-Gabriel de Sartine, to the American commissioners, 5 July 1778, in Papers of John Adams description begins Robert J. Taylor et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. 17 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1977—. description ends , 6:265; see also the commissioners’ reply to Sartine, 11 July, in Butterfield, Adams Diary and Autobiography description begins L. H. Butterfield, ed. Diary and Autobiography of John Adams. 4 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1961. description ends , 4:158.

2Jonathan Williams, Jr. (1750–1815), Benjamin Franklin’s grandnephew, was the commercial agent for the United States at Nantes, France.

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