Benjamin Franklin Papers

John Young to the American Commissioners, 16 December 1777

John Young to the American Commissioners

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes 16th Decr 1777

Honorable Gentlemen

I recived Yours of the 2d instant from Mr. Maylon [Moylan] along with the Dispatches for Congress which I will secure readey for Sinking in case of danger according to Your Orders.When the dispatches came to hand I was all clear for sea, and now onley wates for a favorable opportunity. Ther is certin information of seven saile of English Cruizers off Bil: [Belle] isle for evrey vessel Latley come into port being spoake with by one or more of them. The Judge of the Admiralety here was Pleased to Communicate this intelligence to me, and Belive they are Orderd on purpouse to Cruise off so near to watch the Fregates at L’Orient, and other American vessels ther, at Lorient [?] and now in this harbour. You may depend I shall lose no time consisting with the safty of the vessel under my command, and purpousing to remain in port till I receive further information of those cruizers which my force cannot Engage.9 If You Should think proper to send down aney more Dispatches and they Should come to hand before I Should have an oppertunety to Saile I will take care to put them in the same leadend box with the rest. I have The honnour to be very Respectfully Honorable Gentlemen your Humble Servant

Jno Young

Addressed: The Honbl / B: Franklin S. Deane & / A: Lee Esqrs: Continentail Commisseonrs / at Passy

Notation: Capt. Young

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The commissioners were disturbed by the news; they had this letter shown to Gérard, who more than two weeks later told them that three ships of the line and two frigates had been assigned to clear the coast of the British: Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, I, 365, 375. The following February Young was in Quiberon Bay under the wing of this French squadron: Garner W. Allen, A Naval History of the American Revolution (2 vols., Boston and New York, 1913), I, 338.

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