Letter from Benjamin Franklin to John Paul Jones, May 27, 1778

Letter from Benjamin Franklin to John Paul Jones, May 27, 1778


Page 1

  • Passy, France

Hon'ble John Paul Jones

Passy, May 27. 1778

Dear Sir,

I received yours of the 18th inclosing one for the Countess of a Selkirk which I forward this day via Holland as you desire. It is a gallant letter, I must give her ladyship a high & just opinion of your generosity & nobleness of mind.

The dirty insinuation you mention is of a piece with many others from the same quarter. The natural produce of base minds who feeling no other motive in their own breasts find sordid self interest imagine no other motive can exist in others and therefore it is to that alone they ascribe the most praiseworthy actions.

The Jersey Privateer do us a great deal of mischief by intercepting our supplies. It has been mention'd to one that your small vessel, commanded by so brave an officer, might render great service by following them where greater ships dare not venture their bottoms; or being...

Page 2

  • Passy, France

accompanied and supported by some frigate from Brest at a proper distance might draw them out and then take them. I wish you to consider of this, as it comes from high authority; and that you would immediately let me know what you think of it, and when your ship will be ready.
    I have written to England about the exchange of your prisoners.
    I congratulate you most cordially on your late success, I wish for a continuance & increase of the honor you have acquired. It will always be a pleasure to one to contribute what may lay in my power towards your advancement & that of the brave officers & men under your command.
    I have the honor to be
         Your most obedient
            Humble servant
               B Franklin

    Bravo! That is a hard letter to read.