Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Paul Jones, 26 July 1779

From John Paul Jones

ALS: American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives; copy: United States Naval Academy Museum

L’Orient July 26th. 1779.

Honored and dear Sir,

Since I wrote to you last night I have received advice that the Jamaica Fleet will sail homewards escorted by a Fifty Gun Ship and two Strong Frigates.—2 Should we fall in with that Force we will certainly Engage and I hope Overcome it; but in all probability our Ships will be so much cut to pieces in the Action that we shall be unable to prevent the Escape of the Convoy.— As it was proposed, when I was last at Paris, to put the Frigate the Monsieur under my Command,3 and as that Ship is now newly Careened and ready to Sail, If it could be convenient to add that force to my present Command, it would give us a Superiority over the Enemies Convoy, and might perhaps enable us to Take and Destroy their Jamaica Fleet— Or if we failed in that we might turn our Arms against other Objects which might I hope do them equal mischief.— If this reaches you before the Departure of the Express, I submit the Idea to your Superiour Wisdom. I thought it my Duty to mention it, and am with sincere and Grateful Affection Dear Sir Your Obliged Friend and very humble Servant

Jno P Jones

His Excellency Doctor Franklin

Notation: Capt. Jones July 26. 1779

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2This convoy was intercepted off Newfoundland in mid-July by the American warships Providence, Queen of France, and Ranger, which captured eleven of its merchant ships: Gardner W. Allen, A Naval History of the American Revolution (2 vols., Boston and New York, 1913), II, 382–5.

3A privateer which Jones had long hoped to add to his squadron: XXIX, 494. She did eventually sail with it.

Index Entries