Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Sr., 7 November 1778

From Jonathan Williams, Sr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Boston Novr. 7. 1778—7

Hon Sr

Your recommendation of Mr: Holker as Well as his own worth Intitles him to all the Civilities & Assistance in my power in full Faith & Confidence in you I have undertook to Indorse his Bills to a Large amt: they are public Bills & Doubtless Will be honourd I have 2 ½ per Ct. for doing the Business but 10 per Ct. would be no Indusment without your Letter by him, the money is apply’d to the Kings Use in repairing his Ships that Came into our Harbour maney off them without mast & otherwise much damag’d by the Storme it must Cost a Large Sum to fit them for the Sea they are all now Saild their distenation to us unknown— Our Political State not withstanding all disasters disopinment & the utmost Exartions of our Enimies America is more Stable then ever America Stands firm & verry soon your Words Conserning hir Will be Verifyd Viz it will be a land of Liberty an Asylem for all the Oppresed & distressd in Europ— I am off opinion that we shall have not much more fiting Our Enemies Will have a Enought to do to take Care of them Selves— One of their Ships Cold the Summersit of 74 Guns was a few day ago Cast away On Cape Cod by a Storme & to all apperances their must be more of them8 the Ship is Lost all the men & Officers Except about 30 Wh. was drown’d they are prisiners under Gard & Are Coming by Land to Boston expect them tomorrow— General Gates ariv’d in Town yesterday to take the Command in the rume of G—— Heath9 I pad my Respects to him he Verry kindly Inquired after you—he is Well & in fine helth.

We have rumers daley but nothing Worth notice to be depend On— I have had the honour off a Consignment From your Friend Monsr. Chaumont & have taken the Liberty to Send his Acct & my Sons Letters under Cover to you as the Bearrer a Worty Young Gentleman1 having Letters From Government Will most Likley Se Paris First if you Could Order Jonathan his Letters it would Oblige as 2 of them mark on the Seald Side thus B Contain Bills of Exchange & are of Consequence—

I understand Jona has resignd the public Imploy I Hope he has your Approbation— Mr Green General Greens Brother Aunts Grandson2 Was here this week & Brought me a Letter Shee was Will & wants much to hear From you her Letters to you I have taken Care to Forward & Mr Wintrop Gorden Doctrs with other of your Friends I have Sent by the Best Opportunities3 but belive there most of them taken We have not recd any from Jona Since July: I am With My Best Wishes for your Helth & Happiness Your Dutyfull Nephew

Jona Williams

NB my respects to your Children

Addressed: Doctr. Benjamin Franklin Esqr / Passy in / Paris—

Notation: Jona. Williams Boston 7e. 9bre. 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Duplicating in part his letter of Nov. 2; see our annotation of that letter.

8On Oct. 18 Adm. John Byron, commanding British naval forces at New York, sailed in search of Adm. d’Estaing (who had gone to Boston). Three days at sea he encountered a storm which drove H.M.S. Somerset, 64, onto Cape Cod and badly damaged the rest of his fleet: W. M. James, The British Navy in Adversity: a Study of the War of American Independence (London and elsewhere, 1926), pp. 110–11.

9Gen. Horatio Gates replaced Gen. William Heath as commander at Boston of continental forces: Paul D. Nelson, General Horatio Gates: a Biography (Baton Rouge, 1976), pp. 203–6.

1Perhaps Duncan Ingraham, a young merchant who carried correspondence to JA: see Samuel Cooper’s letter of Nov. 21. Another possibility is Henry Bromfield, for whom Williams had provided a letter of introduction a month earlier (XXVII, 503) and who carried Lovell’s letter of Dec. 8.

2Elihu Greene was the brother of Gen. Nathanael Greene and the husband of Jane Flagg Greene, granddaughter of Jonathan Williams, Sr.’s aunt, Jane Mecom.

3Possibly two of BF’s American correspondents, William Gordon and John Winthrop. The “Doctrs” may refer to Dr. Samuel Cooper.

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