Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to John Paul Jones, 28 May 1779

To John Paul Jones

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, May, 28. 1779.

Dear Sir

You may remember I once Spoke to you concerning some young American Gentlemen, who had come to France with Views of being employ’d as Mid Shipmen in three Ships of War which Commodore Gellon of S. Carolina was sent to procure in Europe.3 Tho’ That Design is not likely to Succeed, they continue to have as I understand, the laudable Desire of improving themselves in marine knowledge, and that under your Command. You were So good as to Say that you would receive them if they Should come to you. Some of them will have the Honour of delivering this Letter, and I earnestly recommend them to your kind Notice and Protection. With great and sincere Esteem, I have the honour to be &c—

Capt. Jones

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3In a March 5, 1779, letter to the S.C. congressional delegation Gillon gave their names as Spencer, Warters, and Doville: S.C. Hist. and Geneal. Mag. X (1909), 80. None of them appears, however, on the roster of the Bonhomme Richard: John S. Barnes, ed., The Logs of the Serapis-Alliance-Ariel Under the Command of John Paul Jones 1779–1780 (New York, 1911), pp. 3–16; Augustus C. Buell, Paul Jones, Founder of the American Navy: a History (2 vols., New York, 1906), II, 407–13. John Spencer distinguished himself aboard the Alliance: Landais to BF, Oct. 9, 1779 (APS).

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