Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 27 March 1779

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Yale University Library

Nantes March 27. 1779

Dear & honoured Sir.

I send you enclosed Messrs Horneca Fitzeau & Cos Invoice with such an order on them as appears to me equitable on all Sides, if you think so, please to sign it & return it with the Invoice. It will be proper for you to keep Copies of both these Papers.1

I return you enclosed the papers you so kindly communicated to me.—2 I shall observe your Directions about how I came by them, but I suppose you have no objection to my mentioning the Fact, where I may have occasion of showing the great Skill & ability of my Calomniator.—3

I am ever with the greatest Respect most dutifully & affectionately Yours

Jona Williams J

My Love to Billy.

P.S. to assure yourself that these Goods were delivered by me to Mr Schweighauser, please to see the marks & numbers in sd Mr Schweighausers Receipt transmitted to the Commrs in my Letter dated Jan. 23. 1779.—


The Hon. Doctor Franklin

Notation: Jona Williams March 27. 1779—

1BF had requested this invoice concerning Simeon Deane’s goods on March 16. He may have kept as his own copy the order JW enclosed here, and used it as a draft of the letter he sent on April 20 to Horneca, Fizeaux & Co.; see our annotation to that letter.

2Which were enclosed with BF’s letter of March 19. They included a recently discovered report on Montieu’s accounts made by Arthur Lee the previous September, and copies of Montieu’s proposals and contract with the commissioners.

3JW had, in fact, already mentioned those papers. BF’s letter had arrived on the 23rd. On March 24 JW wrote to William Carmichael repeating, almost exactly as BF had written it, the description of how Lee had erred in evaluating Montieu’s accounts. JW also enclosed copies of all correspondence relevant to his attempts to assemble a group of merchants to examine his own controversial accounts (eleven letters in all). Yale University Library.

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