Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 30 April 1782

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Yale University Library

Nantes April 30. 1782.

Dear & hond sir

Mr James Moore Brother to Mr Philip Moore of Philadelphia has been some Time in this Town. He came hither from Scotland intending for America, but finding that through his Brothers Connexions he can fix himself advantageously in Business here he has determined to stay & enter into the american Trade.9 I advised him first to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States which he had not the smallest Objection to do, & would have set off immediately for Paris to take it in your Presence, but I apprehended the signing one before Witness might answer the Purpose, I therefore send it inclosed & request to know if it is sufficient because otherwise he will go to Paris immediately.1 I shall write you more fully respecting this Gentleman in a few days & request your Friendship for him. I have not yet recd your Answer about the Prisoners who are on Board here at my Expence, I have done nothing more than their necessities require & I doubt not you will think this a Charge rather on the Public than me.

I am as ever Your dutifull & affectionate Kinsman

Jona Williams J

have the seeds at last come to hand?

Notation: Jona. Williams 30 Apl. 1782.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Philip and James Moore, sons of the wealthy merchant Sir James Moore of the Isle of Man, had established independent business ventures, Philip in Philadelphia and James in Glasgow. JW had long been friendly with Philip. James, whose fortunes had suffered during the war, had been with JW in Nantes since early February. He made such a favorable impression that JW decided to take him and his brother into partnership. On May 10, 1782, they established the firm of Williams, Moore & Co., and James Moore promptly left for Lorient where he would anchor the firm’s operations. JW to William Alexander, May 10, 1782; JW to Williams, Moore & Co., Aug. 1, 1782 (Yale University Library).

1The undated oath, written and signed by Moore and witnessed by JW, is among BF’s papers at the APS.

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