Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joshua Barney, 19 December 1783

From Joshua Barney

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Havre de Grace Decr. 19, 1783


I have the honor to Acknowledge the Rect. of your letter of 16th.—5 The three Barrells and Box seeds I have this day shipp’d on bd. a Vessell for Rouen.6 I hope they will arrive in Good order, the Nuts your Excelly. Speaks of I have None, but will If you think proper bring on my next Voyage a Quantity—I return you my Sincere thanks for your kind offer, but the time of my Stay is so very short I cannot embrace it, my Ship requiring my Attendance.7 I beg your Excellency to believe that I am with the Greatest respect Your Obt. & Hble Servt.

J Barney

Excelly. B Franklin

Addressed: A Son Excellence / Monsieur B. Francklin / Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats unis / de L Amérique pres la Cour de france / a Passy

Notation: Barney Dec. 19. 1783

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Not found, although the substance is known. On Dec. 16, John Paul Jones informed Barney that BF was sending him by the same post a letter asking Barney to forward by diligence the articles he had brought: Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 7, no. 1490. BF also encouraged the captain to visit, according to two passages from the now-missing letter quoted in Mary Barney, ed., A Biographical Memoir of the Late Commodore Joshua Barney … (Boston, 1832), pp. 145–6: “If you come to Paris, I have a room and bed at your service, and shall be glad you would accept of them,” and “If in anything I can serve you here, let me know, and I shall do it with pleasure.”

6They would be sent from there to Passy. In a letter from Barney to WTF of Dec. 14, the captain asked for instructions on how best to send the “three Barrells a Large case and two Small ones sent by Mrs. Bache.” (He also enclosed a bill from a “poor Widow” who had been hounding him for advice; he asked for BF’s opinion, and requested that BF not return the bill.) On Dec. 30, the eve of his departure from Le Havre, Barney wrote WTF acknowledging the dispatches WTF had sent and expressing the hope that “the Barrells & Box of Seeds for your Grandfather” had arrived safely. Both letters are at the APS. For the items sent by the Baches see RB’s letter of Nov. 5.

7Barney’s orders were to remain at Le Havre and wait three weeks for BF’s dispatches before returning: Barney, Biographical Memoir, p. 145.

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