Benjamin Franklin Papers

John Paul Jones: Questions for the American Commissioners, [after 20 June 1778]

John Paul Jones: Questions for the American Commissioners

AD: American Philosophical Society

[After June 20, 17783]

I ask the Commissioners

Whither they do or do not mean that the Ranger should depart before her Prizes are Realized?

Whither the advances paid to the seamen must be deducted from their Prize Money, and at what Rate?

And whither it is not inexpedient for a ship that is Crank, that sails slow, and that is of a triffling force, to pursue a tract where there is almost a Certainty of Meeting with the Enemies fast sailing ships of superiour Force?

Endorsed by Franklin: Capt Jones’s Questions

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3We know that Jones was at Passy on that date, from his endorsement of BF’s letter to him of the 10th. These questions he clearly intends to put to the commissioners in person; the first and third, just as clearly, arise from the instructions in their letter of the 16th. That letter, like BF’s of the 10th, was sent to Brest, and must also have been forwarded to Jones in Passy; it doubtless reached him not long after the 20th.

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