Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to John Paul Jones, 17 December 1783

To John Paul Jones9

Copies: Archives Nationales, Library of Congress1

[December 17, 1783]

To the Honorable Captain John Paul-Jones Commodore in the service of the United-States of America.

In pursuance of a Resolution of Congress of the first of November 1783. a Copy wereof is hereunto annexed,2 I do hereby authorize and direct you to solicit as Agent for payment and satisfaction to the officers and crews citizens or subjects of the said states, for all Prizes taken in Europe ander your Command, and to which they are any wise intitled, and in whose hands soever the Prize-money may be detained.

[LS]   Given at Passy this seventeenth of December 1783.

signed B Franklin

Minister Plenipotentiary from the United-States of America at the Court of France.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF prepared this authorization according to the Oct. 29 instructions he received from Congress (above), which enclosed the resolution mentioned here. (BF acknowledged having received the resolution in his Dec. 25 letter to Mifflin, below.) With this document in hand, Jones met with Vergennes and Castries and was presented anew to the king on Dec. 20: Morison, Jones, p. 338. He sent the original of the present document to Castries on Feb. 1, 1784, asking for a settlement: Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 7, no. 1496.

1This copy (badly faded, but apparently in Jones’s hand) is among TJ’S papers: Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 7, no. 1491.

2The Nov. 1 resolution (JCC, XXV, 787–8) named Jones as agent to solicit, under BF’s direction, prize money for the American officers and crewmen formerly under his command. See Morris Papers, VIII, 617–19, 716, 737, 741.

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