Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 28 November 1780

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Yale University Library

Nantes Nov. 28. 1780

Dear & hond Sir

I have the pleasure to inform you that the dispute between M. de Chaumont & me is terminated (as I was sure it would be) in my Favour. Two Gentlemen of his own appointing (M. Rozée & M. Montaudouin) have decided the Freight to be payable only after the Goods are loaded at L’Orient,2 & Messrs Jeauge & Co (Mr de Chaumonts Correspondents) of Bordeaux have of their own accord reduced the Measurement of the Ship to a reasonable Tonnage.

Please to send on your Dispatches for the Mars by the return of Post as she will by that Time be ready to sail, the Hercules Capt Carey bound to Baltimore of 16 Guns & 80 Men3 will sail with the Mars.

I am as ever Your dutifull & affectionate Kinsman

Jona Williams J

Endorsed: Mr. Williams Nov. 28. 1780 Messrs Rozée & Montaudouin have decided the Freight not to be due till the Ship is loaded at L’Orient

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2For the dispute see JW’s letter of Nov. 16, above. Pierre Rozée (Meyer, Armament nantais, passim) and Montaudoüin (XXII, 332n), prominent Nantes merchants, wrote their decision, dated Nov. 27, on a copy of the charterparty that JW and Chaumont had signed on Aug. 30 (XXXIII, 336n). But Chaumont contested that decision, and a fresh round of arguments began. The two merchants were called upon to rule on the evidence a second time, and did so on Dec. 14, adding their final decision below their statement of Nov. 27. JW forwarded that document to BF with his letter of Dec. 14, below.

3A Maryland brigantine commanded by John Carey: Charles H. Lincoln, comp., Naval Records of the American Revolution 1775–1788 (Washington, D.C., 1906), p. 333.

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