Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Paul Jones, 6 March 1780

From John Paul Jones

ALS: American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Library of Congress

L’Orient March 6th: 1780.

I inclose for your Excellencies approbation an extract of a letter that I have received from Sir R Finlay respecting an invention of Bombs that are Calculated to set fire to any Object against which they are discharged from a Cannon.—9 If they answer the description that I have had they will be an Acquisition of some Consequence to our Marine.— The expence of the Drafts is but triffling and I shall not Scruple to pay it.— I wish you may find the inventor worth of further Attention.— If the Drafts should not reach you before I leave France, please to oblige me by forwarding them to the Care of Mr Morris1 of Philadelphia.—

With profound esteem and Respect I am your Excellencies most obliged Servt:

Jno P Jones

His Excellency B Franklin Esqr:—

Notation: J.P. Jones L’Orient. March 6. 1780

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The enclosure, also at the APS, reveals that “the bombs, or rather hollow bullets” were invented by an impoverished Swedish artillery lieutenant named Floberg, who wished an advance of 200 to 300 l.t., followed by employment either on Jones’s ship or in America. Robert Finlay was a Bordeaux businessman; he was acquainted with Silas Deane and John G. Frazer, as well as Jones: Deane Papers, I, 246, and passim; Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 3, nos. 561–2, 567; reel 4, nos. 707, 843; Finlay to Arthur Lee, May 2, 1778 (APS).

1Robert Morris.

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