Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 22 April 1780

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: University of Pennsylvania Library; copy: Yale University Library

Nantes April 22. 1780.

Dear & Hond Sir.

Capt McKirdy in the Dove is just arrived From Maryland5 & by him it appears that Clinton has at last appeared in So Carolina: I send you the only important Papers I have recvd by him. Mr Lewis a Passenger assures me that our People are strong in Force in that Quarter & do not fear the Enemy. I cannot find either by Letter Newspaper or Information the smallest Acct of the Mercury Capt Samson who carried your Dispatches in November last, & I apprehend he has suffered a harder Fate than Capture.6 The Winter for 40 Years Past has never been so severe.—

I refer you to my last to M de Chaumont about the Cloathing, By the Contrary Wind I have great hopes that what I sent to Brest will arrive in Time. I do not continue sending because I Fear to be too late & I wish for orders for the Cloathing I have now by me. Mr Chaumont will tell you that the Farmers have ordered an arrangement to be made with me about the Duties. I do not yet know what it will be but I am assured it will be reduced to a trifle.—

I am with the greatest Respect Your dutifull & Affectionate Kinsman

Jona Williams J

Notation: J Williams April 22 1780

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Capt. John McKirdy of Baltimore commanded the Dove, bonded on March 13, 1780: Charles Henry Lincoln, comp., Naval Records of the American Revolution, 1775–1788 (Washington, D.C., 1906), p. 276.

6For Capt. Simeon Samson and the Mercury see XXX, 170–1n, 618n. JW soon learned that the ship had arrived in Plymouth, Mass. on Feb. 14: JW to WTF, May 9, 1780, Yale University Library. (Clark, Ben Franklin’s Privateers, p. 92, cites the vessel as arriving at Martha’s Vineyard on Feb. 16.)

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