Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Paul Jones, 20 April 1780

From John Paul Jones

ALS: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: American Philosophical Society

Passy April 20th. 1780

Honored and Dear Sir,

It is now near two Years since I was honored by an invitation from the Court of Versailles to continue in Europe, accompanied with a promise of being thereby the more usefully employed against the common Enemy.6 This invitation I accepted with your and your Colleagues approbation, and my best endeavours have been exerted for the common Cause, as well as to manifest my Gratitude to the King, to his Ministers, and to this generous-minded Nation.— I have not as you will beleive served in this War for Riches, but for Glory and a Glorious Cause; and as I am now returning to my Duty in America7 I should be happy to carry with me to the Congress of the United States such Testimony of his Majesties approbation as my conduct may be thought to have merited during my absence from that Country.8

I am with the most affectionate esteem and respect Dear Sir Your most obliged most obedient and most humble Servant

Jno P Jones

His Excellency B. Franklin Esquire Minister Plenipotentiary &c. &c. for America at the Court of France.

Notation: Le Commodore Paul Jones

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6An invitation solicited by Jones: XXVI, 237, 606–7.

7Jones’s return to the Alliance at Lorient was delayed, however; he was prevailed upon to remain in Passy with Edward Bancroft for six more weeks: Morison, Jones, pp. 275–9.

8BF forwarded the present letter to Vergennes on April 23, requesting that he give it such attention as he judged proper: AAE.

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