A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0226

Author: Jackson, William
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-10

From William Jackson

[salute] Sir

Commodore Gillon has applied to me by letter requesting that I would furnish Captain Joyner1 with bills of exchange on Paris for Twenty thousand Guilders which sum he says is required to pay the ship accounts of the South Carolina frigate, and is necessary to fit her for sea. As this sum appears to be requisite for the purposes mentioned in Commodore Gillon's letter to me, I have to request that { 312 } Your Excellency will please to grant bills to that amount, drawn in the manner stipulated by Colonel Laurens in his agreement with Commodore Gillon, with the exception of their being made payable to the order of Captain Joyner, who is authorised to receive them, and for which Commodore Gillon has made himself accountable.2
I have the honor to be, with perfect esteem and respect, Your Excellency's most obedient Servant.
[signed] W. Jackson
A set of bills of exchange for twenty thousand Guilders on that exchange, to be drawn payable to the order of Captain Joyner on His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire at six Months sight.3
1. John Joyner, an experienced seaman, accompanied Alexander Gillon to France in 1778. In 1781 he was captain of the frigate South Carolina under the command of Como. Gillon as flag officer of the South Carolina Navy. In May 1782, in order to avoid legal claims, Gillon gave Joyner full command of the frigate, a post he held until its capture in Dec. 1782 (Louis F. Middlebrook, The Frigate “South Carolina”: A Famous Revolutionary War Ship, Salem, 1929, p. 27; Laurens, Papers, 15:182).
2. The exchange rate for this transaction was apparently two livres per guilder or florin, for when Jackson wrote to JA on 25 May to acknowledge the bills of exchange drawn on Benjamin Franklin, it was for 40,000 livres tournois (Adams Papers). In a letter of 25 May, JA informed Franklin that the bills were being drawn on him rather than Fizeaux, Grand & Co. in Amsterdam because the bankers thought the six months wait until the bills became payable was too long (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot, p. 470–471).
3. This sentence is written on a separate slip of paper.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0227

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-05-11

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I am honoured with your Excellency's Letter of the 27th. past, acquainting me with your Appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary to the States General, on which please to accept my Compliments and best Wishes for Success in your Negociations.
We have just received Advice here, that M. la Motte Picquet, met with the English Convoy of Dutch Ships taken at St. Eustatia, and has retaken 21. of them. The Men of War that were with them escaped; after making the Signal for every one to shift for himself.1
A Vessel is arriv'd at L'Orient from Philadelphia which brings Letters for the Court down to the 25 of March; Mine are not yet come up. M. de Renneval, from whom I had all the above Intelligence, tells me they contain no News of Importance.
I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant
[signed] B Franklin
{ 313 }
1. The convoy from St. Eustatius consisted of 34 merchant ships protected by 2 ships of the line and 3 frigates under the command of Como. William Hotham. La Motte-Picquet's force of 6 ships of the line intercepted the convoy on 2 May and took, depending on the source, 21 or 22 of the merchant vessels. News of the disaster reached London on 15 May and caused an immediate fall in the stock market (London Chronicle, 12–15, 17–19 May; James, British Navy in Adversity, p. 305–306; Mackesy, War for America, p. 392–393).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.