Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Noble Wimberly Jones, 11 July 1776

From Noble Wimberly Jones

ALS: University of Pennsylvania Library

Savannah 11. July 1776. 1. A:M

Dear Sir

I received your kind favour of 12th Jany. but being out of Town just then, had not the pleasure of seeing and sending by Mr. Goddard,8 and one or other accident hath prevented my answering it before. It gives me real concern that I could not attend that respectable Body the Continental Congress but can assure you, tho my person is not, my heart is most sincerely with them. Added to my own Ill state of health for above a twelve Month, my Dear and kind Father was sometime very Ill, and Died last November, which increased the difficulty of my being absent from hence9 and deprived me also of the real pleasure of your Company, which tis now little probable I shall Ever Enjoy. It gave me great satisfaction to hear you were so well prepared for defence, tis I fear far from being our case. Indeed Am apprehensive without some timely Continental Assistance, we are in great danger. What most alarms, we hear within these few days, that the Cherokees have taken and killd some of our back settlers, Influenced and headed by Ministerial Emissaries and Troops, and we dayly expect to hear the same from the Creeks Chactaws &c. also tis said there are Troops and Indians on our southern frontiers from Augustine;1 what Effect the severe rebuff the Troops or rather Ships against South Carolina Met with may have God knows, but as they are not gone from thence, cant say how matters may end there as yet;2 we are however in both Provinces in as great Spirits as tis possible to conceive, considering our weak Situation, the Numerous Tribes of Indians and their Methods of War; It clearly appears a plan of the Vile Ministry, to carry on that at the same time the Fleet &c. is on our Sea coast. As there may be some matters in it that may not be disagreeable to [you3] I enclose a Letter that went to London for you but as the Gentleman found you were in America he sent it back lest it might miscarry.4 The confused times prevents my being able to answer properly with respect to what the Province is justly in debt to you, shall keep it in Mind and trust it will not be ungrateful.5

Doubtless our President6 has wrote fully our Situation and the Necessaty there is to the common cause our being supported without which little less than Miracles can save us, Spirits however I trust we don’t want had we but Men. I beg leave to conclude with my best Respects to that [Respectable?] Assembly whereof you are a Worthy Member Sir Your Most Obedient and Very Humble Servant

N W Jones

Addressed: To / Doctor Benjamin Franklin / Post Master General of / North America / Philadelphia

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The Surveyor General had made a southern trip the year before; see BF to Hazard above, Sept. 25. We have found no other record of this trip.

9The difficulty was compounded by the fact that the father was a Loyalist; out of respect for him Jones declined to attend Congress. DAB.

1These risings, known as the Cherokee War, were suppressed the following September; the British encouraged and in some cases armed the Indians. See James H. O’Donnell, Southern Indians in the American Revolution ([Knoxville, Tenn., 1973]), pp. 34–53.

2British troops originally went from Boston to North Carolina, only to find that the local Loyalists had already been defeated. The expedition, after a juncture with reinforcements and a squadron from Britain, moved against South Carolina. On June 28 the warships attacked a fort on Sullivan’s Island that guarded Charleston harbor, and were repulsed with heavy losses.

3The word has been deleted in the MS.

4Doubtless the letter above of May 16, 1775.

5BF must have raised the question of the province’s debt to him in his missing letter of Jan. 12, 1776, and after this vague reply he returned to the question just before he sailed for Europe: to Jones below, Oct. 25.

6The Ga. provincial congress, after the Governor’s departure and the collapse of the judicial system, established a temporary government on April 15, 1776, and named Archibald Bulloch (above, XV, 95–6 n) as president and commander in chief of the colony. Allen D. Candler, ed., The Revolutionary Records of the State of Georgia (3 vols., Atlanta, Ga., 1908), I, 274–77.

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