Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 25 July 1780

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Yale University Library

Nantes July 25. 1780.

Dear & honoured Sir.

I arrived here in 50 Hours after I left you & found all my Family well.— I received by last Post from Morlaix, where I hear a Cartel is arrived, a Letter from Capt Manly of which the inclosed is Copy, poor Cunningham is yet alive as you will see.—2 I wish it were possible to get all these poor Fellows exchanged, you see by the Letter that the English endeavour to persuade them that the Fault lays on our side which is no doubt an Artifice to induce them to enter the English Service & they have in some measure succeeded. I am making all ready for the Breton as fast as possible and hope soon to hear from Mr de Chaumont about her coming round.

I am ever with the greatest Respect Your dutifull & Affectionate Kinsman

Jona Williams J

It is said here that the Spanish Fleet has joined M de Guichen.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Writing to JW from Mill Prison, on July 16, Manley described the despair among prisoners at the failure of an exchange, which seemed to be the fault of the French. He tried to escape, but was caught and confined to the black hole. Eight Americans have defected, and entered English service. In a postscript, he added that Gustavus Conyngham had arrived a few days since, and was recovering. The copy of Manley’s letter, certified by JW, is at the APS.

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