Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Genet, 9 May 1778

From Genet

ALS: University of Pennsylvania Library

Versailles May 9th 78

Honored Sir

I’ve just receiv’d your kind favour of April 28. by which you let me know the paper I wanted is not yet publish’d. I’m afraid there is a mistake Since that very same paper came last night to my hands by a way which I made no great dependance on. I was to take the liberty of informing you of it that you might not be at the trouble of procuring a Copy.

I hope, Sir, you have receiv’d a parcel with a letter from me two days ago under the contre-seing of our Minister.2

I’ll make a proper use of the Resolution of Congress of december 19th. Unhappily it came too late for my next pamphlet which comes forth to morrow.3

Permit me, Honored Sir, to observe you, that your letter has been in the hands of the carier the space of ten days, which wou’d be an inconvenience in case of any commands you wou’d honour me with. Had you Sent it by the post, I wou’d have receiv’d it the next morning, and franco too, as I pay no postage. I am with due respect Honored Sir Your most humble and most obedient Servant


P.S. I have a paper of the 4th.

Orders arriv’d may 1st. at Portsmouth for the following Ships to be got ready for Sea as expeditiously as possible, to Sail as a fleet of observation to watch the motions of the french

Princess Royal 90
Bedford 74
Cornwall 74
Conqueror 74
Culloden 74
Cumberland 74
Fame 74
Grafton 74
Invincible 74
Russell 74
Sultana 74

Stocks as per last.

On the 3d evening, about eight o’clock, a Messenger arriv’d at St. James’s from France, charg’d with dispatches of the utmost importance, which were immediately Sent off to the King at Portsmouth. Nothing from America.

You know the Drake Sloop of war has been taken after a hot engagement by the Ranger and has had 22 men killed besides Capt. and Lieut.4

M. Benjamin Franklin Député du Congrès Américain a Passy

Notation: Genet. Versailles May 9. 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Above, May 6.

3BF enclosed the resolution in his above of April 28. Genet’s next “pamphlet” was cahier xliii of vol. x of the Affaires de l’Angleterre et de l’Amérique, dated May 9.

4The Public Advertiser of that date contained the naval intelligence, including the loss of the Drake, and the next day’s issue announced the arrival of the messenger from France.

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