Benjamin Franklin Papers

Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners, 31 May 1777

Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Yale University Library

Nantes May 31. 1777.

Honorable Gentlemen.

I arrived here late last Evening.6 The Mere Bobie has not taken in the Bales I ordered, on account of a difficulty which the Custom House Officers have made relative to the Duties, but on application to the Directeur des Fermes I have so succeeded, that I am in hopes to have them aboard this evening, and wind permitting, she shall sail on monday morning.7 It is reported here that Hammond is taken, but the news has every appearance of improbability. I am more afraid (if it has any foundation at all) that it is adams. I have the honour to be with the greatest Respect Gentlemen Your most obedient humble Servant

Jona Williams

Wickes Nickolson and Johnson all sailed the 29th.

I delivered your Letter to Mr Ross8 the post goes out too soon for him to answer it at present, he therefore desires me to refer you to the next. I hope the same circumstance will be an excuse for the hurry with which this is written.

Addressed: The Honourable / The Commissioners of the / United States. / Passy or / Paris.

Notation: Mr. Williams 31 May 1777

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6He had been in Passy or Paris: BF to Cushing above, May 27. JW’s first letter to BF of May 7, above, said that he could not leave Nantes, but unless he did so almost immediately the gap in his correspondence since the 7th, given his assiduity in letter-writing, is hard to explain.

7For the Mère Bobie see the headnote on JW’s letter above, May 1. She carried not only dispatches but some cloth for Congress and a cargo belonging to Chaumont consigned to Jonathan Williams, Sr.: JW to his father, June 1, 1777, and of the same date to the secret committee and the committee of secret correspondence, JW letterbook, Yale University Library.

8John Ross (above, XXII, 633 n) had recently come through Paris on his way to Nantes, where he was charged with supervising Thomas Morris: Clark, Wickes, p. 217.

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