Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from John Paul Jones, 24 November 1780

From John Paul Jones

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: National Archives

L’Orient Novr. 24. 1780

Honored and dear Sir,

I this day received a Letter from M. Gourlade of which the enclosed is an Extract.1 In consequence I have written the within Letters to the new Minister of the Marine and to M. de Chaumont reclaiming Payment of Prize Money &c. for the Ships Bon Homme Richard and Alliance, while Under my Command last Year.—2 If you think these Letters suitable to the Occasion, I beg your influence to Support them.

I am ever, with the most profound Esteem and Respect Your Excellencies Most Obliged and most humble Servant

Jno P Jones

His Excellency B. Franklin Esqr. American Minister, France &ca.

Notation: Capt. Jones. Nov 24. 1780

1In this extract of the Nov. 20 letter (APS), Gourlade told Jones he had spoken to BF, who much desired that Jones resolve the prize payments issue. He and BF agreed that Jones should ask Chaumont for the prize money and should write Naval Minister Castries about the money received from the sale of the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough. BF would forward the letters. From the complete letter (Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 6, no. 1274) we learn that the meeting occurred on Friday, Nov. 17, and that BF there agreed to accept Gourlade’s drafts for 36,000 l.t.

2Jones asked Chaumont to pay the shares of the officers and crew of the Alliance and Bonhomme Richard to their agent, Gourlade & Moylan, and his own share to BF and Edward Bancroft, acting as his attorneys: Nov. 24, 1780, Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 6, no. 1279. His letter to Castries of Nov. 24 (the enclosed copy of which is also at the APS) explained the arrangements he had made with former Naval Minister Sartine. He beseeched Castries to order immediate payment for the prizes handled by Chaumont as well as for the two warships: ibid., no. 1278.

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