Benjamin Franklin Papers

James Moylan to the American Commissioners, 1 May 1778

James Moylan to the American Commissioners

ALS: American Philosophical Society

L’Orient pmo May 1778

Honorable Gentlemen

The restriction Captain Jones has laid the Intendent of Brest under, respecting the prize he sent in there,7 gives the Admiralty a power over her that will cause infinite delay and very heavy expences on this and every future occasion, if the president [precedent] be admited. I take the liberty of mentioning this matter to you, as I think you may adopt a different plan more for the public good. I have the honor to be respectfully Honorable Gentlemen Your most obedient humble Servant

James Moylan

Addressed: To / The Honorable Plenipotentiary / Ministers from the United / States of America.

Endorsed by John Adams: Moylan. 1st May 1778

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Jones had consigned the Lord Chatham to Arnauld de La Porte, the naval intendant, who had had her sealed and had ordered Bersolle to make a declaration to the admiralty. All this could have been avoided, Bersolle pointed out, if the prize had been consigned to him in the first place; see his letters above of April 22 and 24.

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