Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Paul Jones, 8 November 1779

To John Paul Jones

LS1 and copy: National Archives; copy: Library of Congress; transcript: National Archives

Passy Novr. 8. 1779

Dear Sir

I wrote to you on the 15th past,2 since which I have not had the Pleasure of hearing from you.

I have just received a Letter from M. De Sartine, of which the inclosed is a Copy. You will see in it that the Cruise is ended; and the Ship Alliance dismissed, with an Injunction that none of the King’s Subjects be retained in the said Ship. I know not whether this does not extend to Capt. Landais. He is not yet arrived here.3 I understand he is inclined to quit our Service. I suppose you will learn the Intentions of the Minister relative to the Disposition of the Prizes from the Ambassador: and that you will go on board the Alliance yourself.4 I am anxious that the Prisoners should be safely lodged in France, and should earnestly recommend that Matter to your Attention, if I did not know that you desire as much as I do the Exchange of our poor Countrymen. As soon as the Alliance arrives in any Port of this Kingdom, I shall consult whether it will be adviseable to continue her in Europe for another Cruise, or to send her back to America. With the sincerest Wishes for your Prosperity, I have the honour to be, Dear Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

Honble Comme Jones.

Endorsed: From Doctr: Franklin inclosing a Letter from M. de Sartine dated 6th. Novr. 1779—Novr. 8. 1779. No. 24.

1In WTF’s hand.

2XXX, 537–8.

3He must have arrived later that day; see our annotation of Dumas’ letter of Nov. 5.

4On Nov. 21 Jones took over command of the Alliance from James Degge (who, as the ship’s first lieutenant, had assumed command on Oct. 22 when Landais was summoned to Paris): Schaeper, Battle off Flamborough Head, p. 50; XXX, 580–1n. Capt. Cottineau of the frigate Pallas shifted to the Serapis the same day: Statement by French officers and petty officers, Nov. 24, below.

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