Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Chaumont, 19 May 1779

To Chaumont9

LS:1 Yale University Library; incomplete copy: Library of Congress

Passy May 19. 1779.

Dear Sir,

I am sorry and very much ashamed of the Quarrel on Board the Alliance: But I beg you would not form an Opinion of the Americans in general from this Accident. Where a Number of Men of whatever Nation are together with little or nothing to do they are apt to be mutinous and quarrelsome. I hope when they are fully employ’d they will behave with more discretion and more good Nature to each other. At this Distance I cannot judge between them. They are now under the Orders of Commodore Jones, whose Authority exercised with Prudence and Temper, will I hope be sufficient to compose these Dissensions and re-establish good Order and Harmony among those People, and to him I must leave them.

I forwarded immediately your Letter to M. De Sartine and the Marquis de La Fayette. I suppose you have herewith their Answers.

I hear from Holland that a Bill of M. Holker fils, drawn on you and accepted, is gone back protested for Nonpayment.2 I suppose this Accident happened by your being out of Town. I am sorry I did not know of it in time to prevent its being return’d. I hear it is gone back to America via St Eustatia. As that is a round-about Voyage, a Letter from you by the Ambassador may reach Mr Holker before the Protest arrives, and you may by that means save his Credit. It is for this Reason I mention it.

With the sincerest Esteem, I am Dear Sir, Your most obedt humble Servant.

B Franklin

M. De Chaumont.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9In answer to Chaumont’s of May 14.

1In WTF’s hand. The copy, on a torn page of the letterbook, contains only the opening paragraph of the letter.

2Reported by Dumas on May 11–14. See also BF’s reply, printed under May 17.

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