Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr.: Two Letters, 8 April 1778

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.: Two Letters

(I) and (II) ALS: American Philosophical Society


Nantes April 8. 1778

Dear and honored Sir

I recvd. the inclosed from Capt. Collis who is a prisoner in England, you will see by it an account of his Misfortune and desires of Assistance, which I should be happy to be the Instrument of affording him.7 It is perhaps needless to tell you that Capt. Collis is the Husband of Jenny Mecom. I also inclose another Letter which by the address I suppose to come from aunt Mecom, if so, or from any other part of your Family, I shall be happy to hear of their Welfare. I hope to see you in a few Weeks. I have been somewhat retarded in my preparations to sett off with my accounts compleat, by a severe Fit of the nervous Headach. I spent great part of the last Week in bed, but am now much better. I am ever Your dutifull and affectionate Kinsman

J Williams J

Dr Franklin.

Endorsed: Answer’d8

Notation: Williams Nantes 8. avril 1778.


Nantes April 8 1778

Dear and honored Sir.

This will be presented to you by my worthy Friends Mr. Geo Readhead of So. Carolina and Mr. Craig of Philadelphia.9 I have been particularly happy in the acquaintance of these Gentlemen during their Residence here and beg leave to introduce them to you as Men of Sentiment and honour firmly attached to the Cause of their Country. I am ever with great Respect Your dutifull and affectionate Kinsman

Jona Williams J

Addressed: Dr Franklin / Passy.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Peter Collas’ letter, from Plymouth on March 22, is one of the few from him that survive (APS). He had sailed for Bordeaux from Boston in mid-January and been captured a month later by a Guernsey privateer. A packet of letters for BF, and a separate one to him from Jane Mecom, were captured; a few other letters Collas managed to save and forward. He expected to leave for France in a few days by way of Jersey, and asked JW to procure a berth; “this unfortunate war has all most put me at a stand what to do next.”

8Below, April 18.

9Redhead was one of the merchants whom William Lee had involved in the sealing of Thomas Morris’ trunk: Ross to the commissioners above, March 12. Craig may well have been the merchant, John Craig, whose Philadelphia home later became a social center for Frenchmen in the city: Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, IV, 91 n.

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