Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Landais, 12 May 1779

From Landais

ALS: American Philosophical Society

L’Orient May 12th 1779.

Please Your Excellency

I Sailed from the River of Nantes the 10th. Instt. Came at anchor at Groay Island3 the 12th and into the harbour of L’Orient today,4 where Monsieur Ray De Chaumond5 Delivered me the Letter Your Excellency honnoured me with the 28th Ult. Containing Your Order to put my Self and Ship under Capt Jones Command accordinly I went Directly to Seek him and ask’d his orders. I think you Kindly for your wishes.

I am with the Greateast Respect. Your Excellency Most Obedient & Most humble Servant.

P: Landais

Excellency Bn. Franklin Minister Plenipotentiary of the united States of America

Endorsed: Capt. Landais May 12. 1779 Complies with the Orders

Notation: 8/

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The Ile de Groix, near the entrance to the harbor.

4The short voyage did not impress JA with Landais’ ability. He wrote in his diary of Landais’ inactivity and indecision, his jealousy, and his “Silence, Reserve, and … forbidding Air”: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, II, 368–9. Landais blamed the Alliance’s master for the ship’s poor handling which almost ran her aground: Pierre Landais, Memorial to Justify Peter Landai’s Conduct during the Late War (Boston, 1784), p. 14.

5In Lorient, Chaumont corroborated JA’s account of the difficulties aboard the Alliance: below, May 14.

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