Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 18 October 1777

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes 18 Octo. 1777.

Dear and honored Sir

I wrote to you the 9th Inst. inclosing one for M. Chaumont and a draft on him for 400.000 Livres. M. Chaumont mentions the 15th that he has not heard from me. I am therefore very uneasy about the fate of this Letter, and have written a Copy of it to M. C. to day. I now inclose you another draft of the same tenor and date, which if the other arrived safe you will please to destroy, but if the other did not come to hand please to obtain an immediate acceptance of it. The matter was to have been judged to day but I have obtained a suspension ’till Tuesday, in expectation of news.9

I beg Sir you will favour me with dispatch in this Business. I am ever most dutifully and affectionately Yours

J Williams J

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin LLD / a Passy.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The “matter” was the legal proceedings in the Nantes admiralty court to have the confiscated prizes returned to their British owners; judgment had been expected on the 18th: Stevens, Facsimiles, XIX, no. 1729, p. 5. JW presumably procured the delay in hope of intervention by the government, which was not forthcoming. When Tuesday arrived, the court declared the ships forfeit to the King; and Vergennes had promised Stormont that in that event they would be restored: ibid., II, no. 215, p. 2; XIX, no. 1761, p. 3.

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