Benjamin Franklin Papers
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Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners, 9 January 1778

Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners

ALS: University of Virginia Library

Nantes Jan. 9. 1778.

Honorable Gentlemen

I have received your Favour of the 3d Instant. I have concluded as the shortest and cheapest way to send a Boat out with a French Officer from this place, who has my particular orders relative to his Business. I find that the person you direct me to consult with is returned to [blank in MS] I shall therefore write you from thence in a day or two, to which I refer. In the mean Time the Ship cannot go to St. Nazare ’till my return, there being no recall of orders which have been some time given to the Commanders of the French Vessells of War in this port expressly forbidding it.3 By reperusing the Letter to which this is an answer you will understand it; otherwise my Stile may be too obscure. I have the honour to be very respectfully Your most obedient and most humble Servant

Jona Williams J.

Addressed: The Honble / The Commissioners of / The United States

Notations in different hands: J Williams Esqr. Lettr. 9 Jany 1778 Nantes / to Comrs: U.S.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The commissioners’ letter of the 3rd is missing. Deane wrote JW on the same day (Deane Papers, II, 300–2) but that letter throws no light on this one. The person it directed him to consult was probably the marine commandant at Brest, where he was bound, and the purpose was to get the Lion released for the voyage to St. Nazaire; see the extract of his letter below, Jan. 19.

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