Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Gourlade & Moylan, 5 July 1780

To Gourlade & Moylan

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, July 5. 1780.


I wrote to M Williams on the 27th. Ult. inclosing an oder to the Commanding officer of the Alliance to take on board that frigate as many of the arms &c as he could conveniently Stow, and to give a Receipt for the same.4 I at the same time signified my Desire to have the Arriel fitted and dispatched with the utmost Expedition.5 M Williams is now here and consequently has not received my Letter, I therefore gave him a Duplicate of the Order to forward to you, and I have now to request that the remainder of the Powder and Arms may be shipped on board the Ariel, and that frigate dispatced under the Command of Commodore Jones as soon as possible.6 If there should remain any Room after loading the Arms and Powder let M Williams’s Cloathing have a preference to all other Goods— If the Bonhomme Richard’s men are released from the Alliance there will be enough for the Ariel, if not you must get together as many as you can, and in Addition I will order some others to join who have lately arrived at St. Malo.

You will please to inform me in answer to this when You think the Ariel will sail and I will take care to have my Dispatches ready for her, I am Gentlemen Your most humble Servant

Messrs. Gourlade and Moylan.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4XXXII, 615–16 and, for the enclosure, XXXII, 613.

5XXXII, 612–13. The Ariel was a French sloop of war on loan to Capt. John Paul Jones to carry supplies to America: XXXII, 442–3, 467–8.

6JW, when he was in Lorient at the end of June, had instructed Gourlade & Moylan to take charge of receiving and organizing the bales of clothing that were arriving from Nantes and Brest, and to check them against the invoices. Clothing for the officers, marked “FO,” was to be kept separate. They would receive further directions at a later date, and should charge all expenses for this operation to BF, who would reimburse them: JW to Gourlade & Moylan, June 25, 1780. JW wrote them again on July 1, from Passy, enclosing the duplicate of BF’s letter mentioned in the present one, and asking them to execute BF’s orders. Both of JW’s letters to the firm are at the Yale University Library. The first of the Lorient firm’s bills was submitted to BF on July 19; WTF kept a list of them as they were presented in what he called the Bill Book, part of which is at the APS. The Gourlade & Moylan entries begin on July 19, 1780, and run through Feb. 28, 1781.

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