Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Jay, 14 September 1781

From John Jay7

LS:8 American Philosophical Society

St. Ildefonso 14 Sepr. 1781

Dear Sir

You informed M. Franks in a late letter that the Capt. of the Vessell in wch. he came from philada. complained of his having left Cadiz without paying for his passage—

This complaint is unjust. The Majors instructions under M. R. Morris’ hand9 (which I am acquainted with) mention expressly that he (Mr. Morris) had engaged to pay the passage Money in question to Mr. LaCase1 at Philada. so that the Major had Evidently nothing to do with it.

The Major tells me you have made him a friendly offer which may possibly again bring him to Europe. There is reason to think he deserves well of his Country, he Appears to me to have a good & warm heart, & should your plan take place, I hope it will conduce to your mutual Satisfaction & advantage.

J J.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Because this document is among BF’s papers we assume he was the intended recipient; lacking the letter to Franks mentioned below, however, we cannot be certain.

8In the hand of William Carmichael.

9Morris’ instructions are missing, except for a brief excerpt printed in Morris Papers, I, 286–7.

1Undoubtedly James Lacaze, a Spanish merchant established in Philadelphia: XXX, 88n; Morris Papers, III, 94–5n. Our guess is that Franks sailed aboard the Nympha, Peter Briament captain, which Lacaze owned: Charles H. Lincoln, comp., Naval Records of the American Revolution 1775–1788 (Washington, D.C., 1906), p. 407; Claghorn, Naval Officers, p. 32.

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