Benjamin Franklin Papers
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The American Commissioners to John Paul Jones, 3 June 1778: résumé

The American Commissioners to John Paul Jones5

AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; copy: National Archives

<Passy, June 3, 1778: We have had numerous letters from Lieut. Simpson, and certificates from officers and others about him; although we do not wish to judge him, the certificates are most favorable to his character.6 Confining him anywhere except on the Ranger seems to us unjustifiably severe. We desire you to release him on parole, to take passage from Nantes in order to stand trial in America. Let us know what money is due him.

We have had an application for Mr. Andrew Fallen, one of your prisoners, in such terms that we wish you to parole him also, on condition that he say and do nothing prejudicial to the United States, and that when officially called upon he surrender again.7>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Published in Butterfield, John Adams Diary, IV, 123–4.

6Those from the Drake’s crew on May 16 and the Ranger’s officers on the 30th.

7Jones complied on June 11, and made out the parole himself: University of Pa. Library. “Fallen” was Fallon; the appeal for him came from his brother, Augustus Charles Fallon, in a letter of May 28 to the comte de Clonard (APS). Andrew had been studying in Douai when he was ordered home to Ireland for his novitiate in a Dominican priory. The young man (only 15 or 16) sailed from Dunkirk and was captured; Jones talks of sending him to America. Will Clonard please get him released? The Count, a fellow Irishman, presumably forwarded the letter. He was a French naval officer, of some distinction and influence at court, who will reappear in 1779.

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