From John Williams
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Nantes 31. Decr.(?)2 1778
My nephew Set out last Sunday Week for Bourd.—and he intends paying his respects to you at Paris, befor he returns here. We have just had an Arrival from Boston in twenty Six days by which my nephew at Boston3 has Sent the Public papers up to the 2d. Nov.— And as the receipt of them might be agreeable to you I lost no time to enclose them. I have also Given you an Extract from his Letter to his Brother under the 28 of Octr. as it contains Some information on the other Side.4 I have the honour to be with the profoundest respect Hond Sir, Your most Obed. and most Humble Servant
The Honble Dr Franklin
Notation: Jo. Williams Nantes 31 aout 1778.
2. The month might also be read as “Novr.”, but Nov. 31 is clearly impossible. Internal evidence of the arrival of a ship carrying Nov. 2 newspapers from Boston in twenty-six days points to an earlier December date.
3. JW’s brother John, for whose return to America see his father’s letter of Nov. 2.
4. The extract is printed as part of BF’s letter to Chaumont, Dec. 4, which also makes it likely the present letter was received before that date.