Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from John Laurens, 30 May 1781

From John Laurens

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Brest 30th. May 1781.

Dear Sir.

An obstinate Calm has detained us in port—’till this evening— to morrow I flatter myself we shall have a favorable wind for putting to sea—7

I am informed that the orders are already received here for preparing a frigate to convey the specie destined for the french Army—8 and that she will be probably ready in the beginning of next month—if this be the case it will scarcely be possible to avail ourselves of this convoy for a second remittance on account of the United States. However Your Excellency will be more particularly informed—and consequently either endeavour to profit by this, or procure another—

I have taken the liberty to inclose you a Letter for London, which I request Your Excellency to forward—and have the honor to be with every sentiment of esteem and respect Your Excellencys most obedt Servt.

John Laurens.

His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esqr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The Résolue, Olimpe, and Cybèle sailed on June 1: Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, IV, 692.

8Probably the frigate Magicienne, which carried 1,800,000 l.t. in specie to Rochambeau’s army: Lee Kennett, The French Forces in America, 1780–1783 (Westport, Conn., and London, 1977), p. 133. She sailed on June 22 in company with two merchant ships chartered by John Laurens, the Rusé (which was dismasted and put into La Coruña) and the Duguay-Trouin, and reached Boston on Aug. 16: Archives de la Marine; Account XXVII (XXXII, 4); “Mission of Col. Laurens,” I, 317; Inventory of the Rusé (National Archives); War Office to La Luzerne, Aug. 28, 1781 (National Archives). See also Robert Morris to BF, Aug. 28 [–Sept. 9].

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