Recipient: Coffyn, Francis
[Commissioners to Francis Coffyn]
[dateline] Passi July 13. 1778
We have received several late Letters from you, and two this morning by the hand of Captain Amiel, containing abundant Testimonies of your good Character.
As We have never entertained the least doubt, of your Probity or Honor, or of your unblemished reputation, you have given yourself much trouble without necessity, and used as the Saying is, In Re non dubiâ, testibus non necessariis.
It is true We received a Letter, in which some regret was expressed that We had addressed Mr. Amiel and his Papers to you, and the reason assigned was, because the Letter Writer thought you had made yourself “somewhat too busy, in some particular matters,” but this you may be assured never made the least Impression upon Us, to your disadvantage.3
In one of those Letters We received the Bond, Instructions and Commission returned.
If you should write to America, the News as it occurs, you may write to the Honourable James Warren Esqr., Speaker of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts Bay, at Boston,—or to The Honourable Committee of foreign Affairs, at Congress, or to both. If you can send any English Newspapers they will be always acceptable. But We would wish You to observe one Rule, which is, not to write any News to America that is not well authenticated, because there are so
many Misrepresentations floating about in the World, that if these should be written as they occurr, to a distant Country, they would tend to confound and mislead the People.
The American Seamen you mention, We wish to have put into some Employment, by which they may earn their Bread and save Expences to their Country, as soon as possible, and it is indifferent to Us, whether it is at Dunkirk, Brest, or Nantes. We are &c.
[signed] B. Franklin,
[signed] Arthur Lee,
[signed] John Adams
[addrLine] Mr. Francis Coffyn at Dunkirk.