Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Sr., 8 August 1779

From Jonathan Williams, Sr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Boston Augt. 8. 1779

Hond sr.

I am honour’d with your favours of novr. 27 by Capt Collas, & of Apl. 22. 17799 in boath your pleas’d to place a Confidence in me, that I will answer your Intentions in Supplying your Worthy Sister if nead in this you do me Great honours as well as aford me one of the Greatest pleasures, in Life.

I wish for every Opportunity to Express my Greatitude for the many Obligation you have lay’d me under by your kind Care & notice of my Childred I hope Jona will Continue to Desarve your Esteem & Friendship then I know he will not want your partonage & advise.

Now that aunts unhappy Son is no more1 that Truble is over, tho’ I have allways endeavr’d to Liten the burden & make it as easy as Possible & your Bounty has been as Sufficient as I Desired—

Monr. de la Luzerne Ambassador from the Court of France to the United States ariv’d here in fine helth & Spirits2 his High Character will Command the respect and attention of all True Friends to this Country & its generous Allies, he is pleasd to honour me with trust & Confidence; he has Dined at my house & Calls in a frendly Way to See us & I Doubt not he will have all that publick & private respect Due to his Character & Merrit. My Sons Ship the three Friends & Capt Young & a Tendor is arivd Likewise but Capt Cowzins is missing I am Sorry as I understand Monr. La Chaumont has Large Interest On Board however Shee may yet arive tho’ She was Left in a Bad Condition with her Pumps Going Continuly—3

Inclos’d you have a Letter from your Sister4 we are all Well Belive me Ever Your Dutifull Nephew & Hble Servt

Jona Williams

My Love to your Familay

Addressed: His Excellency Benjamin Franklin / Passy / France

Notation: Jona Williams. Boston 8 Augt. 79

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Both letters are missing. Williams discusses them in his first letter of July 29, above.

1Peter Mecom.

2The new French minister plenipotentiary had come to Boston on the Sensible: XXIX, 345–6. When he stepped ashore at about 5 P.M. on Aug. 3 he was met by a delegation from the Mass. Council and saluted by thirteen canon: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, II, 400n. From Aug. 3 to Sept. 4 he was in Boston conferring with members of the Massachusetts Council and other leading citizens before proceeding to Philadelphia to replace the ailing Conrad-Alexandre Gérard: William E. O’Donnell, The Chevalier de La Luzerne, French Minister to the United States, 1779–1784 (Bruges and Louvain, Belgium, 1938), pp. 43–4.

3JW’s ship (XXIX, 501n) on this trip carried La Luzerne’s baggage: ibid., 778–9. John Young was captain of the General Washington: XXIX, 85. These ships were given convoy escort by the Sensible and arrived in Boston a day later than her: The Boston Gazette, and the Country Journal, Aug. 9. “Capt. Cowzins” is Capt. Cazneau, whose ship also traveled with the Sensible: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, II, 381.

4Presumably her letter of July 27, above.

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