Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 26 May 1779

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes May 26. 1779.—

Dear & hond Sir.—

I am much obliged to you for the kind Notice you were pleased to take of my little Fellow.—3 I may be partial but I think him the finest Lad I ever saw, and I shall take care to give such an Education & to impress his mind with such principles as will, I hope, prevent his being unworthy of the Blessing you were pleased to bestow upon him.— I had a Brother who bore your name, at about 9 years of age he fell thro’ the Ice in a large Pond, & was drowned.— Every Feature of my poor Brother & every one of his actions are revived in this charming Boy.

Please to let me know if you advanced any money on my accot & what Sum.—

I am just setting off to L’orient to dispatch the three Friends.4 I shall be glad if you will drop me a Line about the Anchors, as Mr Gourlade will no doubt ask me for the payment. The Balance of my accot I am ready to pay, but I think it is hard to be obliged to make an advance, which will only perhaps be another disputed article, to an already cruely disputed accot.—

I have at last obtained the Consent of 4 of the Gentlemen to sit on my accot, two of them who have been a long time at L’orient, I intend to bring back with me for that purpose.—5

I am ever with the greatest Respect your dutifull & affectionate Kinsman

Jona Williams J

Please to direct to me about the Anchors under Cover to Mr Gourlade at L’orient.

Addressed: a monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / Ministre plenipotentiaire des / Etats Unis / en son Hotel / a Passy / prés / Paris

Notation: Jones Williams Nantes 26 may 1779.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3His son Josiah; see JW’s letter of April 25.

4The name of his ship.

5Gridley and Johnson from Nantes, and Cuming and Nesbitt from Lorient. Gridley had recovered from his illness; Schweighauser, however, was still too ill to serve. JW to Cuming and Nesbitt, May 2, 1779, Yale University Library.

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