Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 13 April 1779

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Yale University Library

Nantes April 13. 1779.—

Dear & hond Sir.

I recvd your Favour of the 8th Instant per this days post.— I am surely the most unlucky of all accused Persons for all my Endeavours to bring on a Trial are unsuccessfull. Of the Gentlemen named there remains here only three Mr Johnson Mr Gridley & Mr Schweighauser the two last are so ill as to make their attendance impossible, and Mr S, I have reason to believe, would not attend if he was well.—8 So I am just where I was.—

I thank you for your advice as to the algebraic Calculation & I will follow it. I have used it already in one or two Instances with some Success, but in the matrimonial Way I a little differ from your Opinion, & instead of my never being married if I don’t “use it” I am afraid I never shall be married if I do, for the negative Column seems in this Instance the weightiest. Before a Man is married he must fall in love and this seems to be as involuntary an act as falling into a Well—which requires something more than algebra to get out of.—I begin however to see more reasons on the favourable side than I used to, and I believe the next time I fall I shall endeavour rather to make myself content in, than (as I have hitherto done) scramble out.—

Excuse my Badinage & believe me ever with great Respect your dutifull & affectionate Kinsman

Jona Williams J

Inclose a Letter to Dr Ingenhouse which please to read & then forward.—9
The Honble. Doctor Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8JW was continually having difficulties with Schweighauser, as he told John Paul Jones the following week, but had a reason for wanting to maintain cordial relations: he was courting Schweighauser’s daughter. JW to Jones, April 22 and 29, Yale University Library.

9BF apparently had shown JW the part of Ingenhousz’s April 1 letter (of which only an extract survives; see above) that concerned the latter’s financial affairs, in which JW was a partner. The answer that JW here encloses, dated April 13, indicates that Ingenhousz had asked that his money, which had been invested in American trade, be remitted to him to be employed in Ireland. JW explained to Ingenhousz the impossibility of commanding the money at the present moment. JW’s letter (a copy of which is in the Yale University Library) was forwarded to Ingenhousz along with BF’s of May 4[–5], below.

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