Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Matthew Ridley, 24 November 1778

From Matthew Ridley

ALS: American Philosophical Society; two copies: Massachusetts Historical Society

Nantes November the 24th. 1778

Honble Sir

The memorandum you were pleased to entrust me with relative to the Manuscripts in the hands of J Massey, I sent to my Friend in London, desiring him to apply to Massey about them.— I have a Letter from my Friend by this days Post adviseing me he had made the application, and was told they had been disposed of some time since.9

All my Letters inform me the disposition of Ministry is to try another Campaign in America— Clintons proceedings, in burning and destroying1 is perfectly consistent with their Ideas of War; and in this mode they intend proceeding— The loss of Dominica2 appears as a dream; and it is questioned whether the loss of all the Islands will awaken them.

I return you thanks for your Name to a late Paper forwarded me.— With best Wishes for your health I am respectfully Honble Sir Your most obedient Servant

Matt: Ridley

Addressed: The Honorable / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Passy / prés de Paris

Notation: Matt: Ridley Nantes 24. 9bre. 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF’s agreement some eight years earlier to acquire a collection of manuscripts and printed works from the British economist Joseph Massie is summarized in XVIII, 267–8.

1Presumably a reference to Clinton’s policy of coastal raiding, such as the recent attack on New Bedford, Mass. (XXVII, 408).

2Dominica had been captured on Sept. 7 by 1,800 French troops led by François-Claude-Amour, marquis de Bouillé, governor of the adjacent island of Martinique; an account is in the Nov. 6 issue of the Gaz. de Leyde. The island remained in French hands until 1783.

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