Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Jean-Daniel Schweighauser, 3 May 1781

To Jean-Daniel Schweighauser

Copy:4 Library of Congress

Passy, May 3. 1781.


I have received your Favour of the 19th. past.5 It may be as you observe very reasonable that Capt. Barnes6 should have the Gratification he demands, and also that the Col. Armand7 should have the Passage paid of himself and Servants, but as I have no orders relating to such Advances, I cannot meddle with them.

I approve of your assisting Capt. Williams [and] the two other Captains, you mention with what Money they may want not exceeding 5 Guineas each; and I request you to advance the same Sum to Capt. Potts taking their Notes payable to Congress. Your Bill on me for the whole shall be immediately paid.—8 I shall be glad also, if they can all have Passages in the Active.

Col. Laurens has written to you, and having Goods to send in that Vessel, wants to know what Room you can spare.9

I send enclos’d a Pacquet for Congress, which I request you would forward.

I have the honour to be, with much Esteem Sir,

Mr. Schweighauser.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4From the letterbook kept by BF’s secretary Jean L’Air de Lamotte, as copies from the Library of Congress generally are.


6Barnes commanded the Active, the packet on which Schweighauser was sending some of John Laurens’ war supplies: XXXIV, 380n.

7Possibly Armand-Charles Tuffin, marquis de La Rouërie (XXV, 383n, and XXXIII, 418n, in both of which we transposed his given names), who was known as Col. Armand in America, where we think he was at this time: Bodinier, Dictionnaire, p. 465.

8Capt. Potts is William Potts, a former officer in the Pa. Navy and later captain of the privateer sloop Comet (Claghorn, Naval Officers, pp 246–7), to whom BF gave 120 l.t. on April 14 and another 144 l.t. on April 18; on April 4 he gave 120 l.t. to a Saml. Williams: Alphabetical List of Escaped Prisoners. The latter may be Capt. Samuel Williams of the Polly (Claghorn, Naval Officers, p. 339), although we have found no record of his having been a captive. The identity of the other two captains eludes us.

9Schweighauser wrote Col. Laurens on April 28 that he had space for 20 tons of goods aboard the Active: XXXIV, 472n.

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