From Jonathan Williams, Jr.
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Nantes March 18. 1779
Dear & hond Sir.—
I have received your agreeable Favour of the 8th Instant per Mr Adams, who did me the Favour to send for me immediately—5 I pressed him very much to accept a Bed at my house, which he declined, I however had the pleasure of his Company to dine with me the Day after his arrival with several Gentlemen of this place. We went together on Sunday to Painbeuf, & passed two agreeable Days in seeing all the River and places on the Borders of it could afford us.— Yesterday morning he set out for Brest.
M de Fontevieux went passenger in the Ship Duchesse de Grammont which arrived at Portsmouth in new England last Summer, I have not heard anything of him since, his Friends may however be sure that (unless some personal accident happened to him) he is in america.6
When your leisure will permit I shall be glad of a Line relative to the Complexion of affairs, so far only as is discreet in me to ask, & in you to communicate.
Mr de Montieu now wants me to go in the Franklin Frigate of 36 Guns & to take her & one or two others to my address. I don’t know what to determine, all that know me advise my Stay because (as they seem to think) Congress will order a return of my public affairs.— For my own Part, I have no great expectations, but I want to hear once more from america before I decide.
I have already [torn: written] to you about the general Run of my orders.—
I am ever with the greatest Respect Your dutifull & affectionate Kinsman
Jona Williams J
I have shewn my Letter to Mr Lee (while here) to most of the Americans about to depart.7 I thought this a duty I owed to my Character, for Lee would otherwise have said that I feared an Examination.
Addressed: a monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / Ministre Plenipotentiaire / des Etats Unis—/ en son Hotel a / Passy prés Paris
Notation: Jona Williams Mar. 18. 79—(Prie)
5. JA arrived in Nantes on Friday, March 12, and recorded having seen JW; see Butterfield, John Adams Diary, II, 356. BF’s letter of the 8th has not been found.
6. Jean-Baptiste-Georges, chevalier de Fontevieux, a nephew of the duchesse de Deux-Ponts, had gone to America as a volunteer in the army in the spring of 1778: XXV, 314n. The duchesse had been inquiring after him: XXVII, 274; XXVIII, 539.
7. JW’s letter of March 8, which he had mentioned to BF on March 9 and 10, above.