Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr., 18 October 1782

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

L’Orient Octor. 18. 1782

Dear & hond sir

I came hither on the Business of our House having 5 rich Jamaica prizes to our address, with upwards of 2000 hhd Sugar & 400 hhds Rum. The Alliance is just arrived with 4 more,6 & she has sent 5 into America, two have got into Nantes so we know of 16 taken; I have another privateer which I hourly expect will bring in 2 or 3 more.— I have advice from my Father of the Reception of Johonnotts & Warrens Bills, but no accot of the payment yet.—7 I shall carry Mrs Williams to her Friends to pass the Winter, for I fear her Health will never be perfectly established at Nantes,8 I hope at same Time to pay my Duty to you and to see you much better than I hear you have been. I am most dutifully & affectionately ever Yours.

Jona Williams J

Addressed: a son Excellence / M. Le Docteur Franklin / Ministre americain / en son Hotel / A Passy prés / Paris.

Notation: J. Williams, Oct. 18. 1782

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6All four of the prizes taken by the Alliance, Capt. John Barry, had been part of the storm-damaged Jamaica convoy (for which see Williams, Moore & Co. to BF, Oct. 9, above). BF signed prize condemnation forms for them on Nov. 24. The forms, filled out by WTF and addressed to the Judges of the Admiralty at Lorient, indicate that the Britannia and the Anna were captured on Sept. 23, the Commerce on Sept. 25, and the Kingston on Sept. 28: Archives départementales de Morbihan. For Barry’s cruise see William Bell Clark, Gallant John Barry, 1745–1803: the Story of a Naval Hero of Two Wars (New York, 1938), pp. 271–6.

7For these bills see XXXVII, 12n.

8Mariamne had recovered from a serious case of influenza that induced an early delivery and the subsequent loss of her baby (see above, JW to BF, Aug. 16), but had recently developed dropsy (edema) and continued in a depression. The Williamses left for St. Germain, where Mariamne’s family lived, on Oct. 26: [Samuel White] to Williams, Moore & Co., Oct. 28, 1782, and to Jonathan Williams, Sr., Oct. 30, 1782 (both at the Yale University Library).

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