Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Landais, 11 March 1780

From Landais

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris March 11. 1780.

Please Your Excellency

You Called me by your Order from the Commend of the American Frigate Alliance which The Honorable Congress had Confided the Commend off, to me; upon Some Accusations that none but a Court Martial Can judge, and you have given the Said Commend to my accuser, You have kept me here these four months past I d’ont know what for as it Could be Said in America, t’is my fault if I had not the Same Commend A’gain by not having not ask’d it Should be given me back, may be that it was offered to me; I therefore Beg as a Right Your Excellency Give me the Commend of the Alliance again, or give me your refusal of doing of it in writing from your hand, that I may have it to Show to Congress. I know the Officers and crew of the Alliance wishes for me and hate their present unlawfull Commander.3

I Beg as a favour you’ll be So good to Send me a positive and Clear answer upon the Subject.

I am with Recpect Your Excellency Most Obedient & most humble Servt

P. Landais

His Excy Bn Franklin Minr Plenipotentiary of the united States of America At Passy

Endorsed: Capt Landais March 11. 1780 demanding to be replac’d in the Alliance

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3For corroboration of Landais’ statement see the letters of April 12, May 31, and June 7 from the officers of the Alliance. Even Jones’s sympathetic biographer Samuel Eliot Morison admits that the recent cruise of the ship had not been a happy one, and that Jones’s faultfinding and perfectionism made him disliked by many who served with him: Morison, Jones, pp. 271–2.

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