Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Jones, 28 May 1779

From William Jones

AL: American Philosophical Society

28 May 1779.

Mr. Jones presents his best respects to Dr. Franklin.

Since I had the honour of seeing you last, I amused myself with the enclosed translation of a curious fragment of Polybius; which, as it may possibly afford you also some little amusement, I take the liberty of sending to you.7

It will be both an honour and pleasure to Mr. Paradise and myself to be charged with any commissions, letters, or messages, that you may have for England. We leave Paris on Wednesday morning.8

My friend will always remember with gratitude the kindness you have shown him.9 Accept my hearty thanks for your obliging attention to me, and be assured of my eternal veneration and esteem.

Addressed: To / His Excy. Dr. Franklin, / Minister Plenipotentiary / from the United States of / America— / at Passy.

Notation: Mr. Jones 28th May 1779—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The work was actually a thinly disguised allegory presenting terms of conciliation Jones thought might be acceptable to the British government. In it a private citizen of Athens addresses his old acquaintance Eleutherion, an eminent philosopher zealous for the cause of liberty, who has been sent by the united islands of Chios, Cos, Lesbos, and Rhodes to Caria, an ally in the struggle by the united islands for liberty. Realizing that Athens will never recognize the independence of the islands, Eleutherion’s friend sets forth a plan of a treaty acknowledging the natural union between their countries. The new relationship is one of sisters rather than parent and child. It recognizes the rights of all citizens of Athens and proposes a policy of reciprocal representation between the assemblies of Athens and the islands. Printed in Sparks, Works, VIII, 543–7.

8Among the letters may have been answers to communications from Richard Price and Joseph Priestley; see Paradise and Jones to BF, May 20. On Oct. 14 Price thanked BF for the note he had sent via Paradise and Jones. APS.

9BF had appealed to Thomas Jefferson to help Paradise retain his wife’s property in Virginia. Jefferson Papers, V, 610.

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