Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jonathan Williams, Jr.: Two Letters, 25 January 1783

From Jonathan Williams, Jr.: Two Letters

(I) ALS: American Philosophical Society; (II) ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Yale University Library


Nantes Jan. 25. 1783

Dear & hond Sir

The present Serves to hand you some Letters brought by my Father who is in my house in perfect Health.7 When I have arranged my Business so as to be able to leave it I shall wait on you with him & bring home Mrs W8 in return.

I thank you for your Note to Lord Shelburne9 which I hope he will feel.

I am with the greatest Respect Your dutifull & affectionate

Jona Williams J

I have just recvd your Packet sent Mr Livingston with the news of Peace. Vessells will not go to sea without Passeports untill the time is elapsed.1


Nantes Jan. 25. 1783

Dr & hond Sir.

The Bearer is my Friend Saml White Esqr who is on the Business of obtaing Passports from England for the american Ships outward Bound.2 He will Show you my Letter to Lord Shelburne & Mr Vaughan; If you think the application useless, or unlikely to Succeed please to tell Major White so that he may not proceed on a false Errand.3 I beg leave to introduce my Friend, to your kind Notice & am Dr & hond Sir most dutifully & affecy Yours

Jona Williams J

I shall take it as a favour if you will give Mr White an Introduction to some of your Friends in London.
His Excelly Doctor Franklin.

Addressed: His Excellency.— / Doctor Franklin.

Notation: Jona. Williams June 25. 1783

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Jonathan Williams, Sr., newly arrived in France, carried letters from Jane Mecom: XXXVIII, 200, 506; see also his letter to BF, Jan. 26.

8Mariamne Williams had been staying with her relatives in St. Germain: XXXVIII, 233, 261.

9Regarding JW’s claim on the Trio, which had been carried into Kinsale by mutineers; see XXXVIII, 570–1, 587–9.

1JW had written anxious letters to WTF on Jan. 21 and 23, begging for confirmation of the rumors he had heard that a peace was signed. He needed BF to send commissions for two brigs that were ready to sail, the Olive and Hetty, which he co-owned with Samuel White; in the event of peace, he would need passports instead. APS. Now that JW had seen BF’s Jan. 21 letter to Livingston and its enclosures, he knew that American ships would need the protection of English passports for the time periods specified in the preliminary articles (for which see the annotation of that letter, above).

2See the preceding note. Samuel White (XXXVIII, 258, 259n) had not yet been to Passy. JW recommended him warmly to WTF in a letter of this same day, Jan. 25: APS.

3White was hoping to recover the Trio. JW’s Jan. 25 letter to Benjamin Vaughan introduced White and asked Vaughan to recommend him to Shelburne; a copy is in the Yale University Library. JW’s letter to Shelburne has left no trace.

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