Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to John Paul Jones, 4 December 1780

To John Paul Jones

LS:6 United States Naval Academy Museum; copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Decr. 4. 1780.

Dear Sir,

I am honoured with yours of the 24th. past. I have delivered your Letters to the M. de Castries & M. de Chaumont, and shall strongly sollicit the Payment of the Prize money, which I understand is not yet received from the King. I hope soon to see an End of that Affair, which has met with so many unaccountable Obstructions.—7 I enclose Dispatches for Congress which are to be sunk in case of Danger.8 I wish you to make the best of your Way to America, & that you may have a prosperous Voyage, being with great Esteem, Dear Sir, Your most Obedt & most humble Servt

B Franklin

Honble. Comme Jones

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur le Commodore P. Jones / de la Fregate Americaine / L’Alliance / à L’Orient

Endorsed: April 5. 1779 No. 20.

Notations: No. 20. Decr. 4 1780 From Dr. Franklin / From his Excellency Dr. Franklin Versailles April [faded] 1780—no 20

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6In WTF’s hand.

7The Bonhomme Richard’s share of the prize money from its 1779 cruise was 132,915 l.t. 12 s., 8 d. In 1783, Jones returned to France in search of it; two years later the matter was resolved to his satisfaction: Morison, Jones, pp. 267–8, 336–41; Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 10, no. 1980.

8BF sent them via Gourlade & Moylan. In his Dec. 4 covering letter (Library of Congress) BF acknowledged receipt of the firm’s now missing letter of Nov. 24. He agreed to honor its new bills on account of the Ariel, and sent an enclosure for Jones. Grand’s payments of Gourlade & Moylan’s bills are listed in Account XXVII (XXXII, 4) under the dates of Nov. 29 and Dec. 2, 5, and 14.

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