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some American vessels to the Bay of When I was informed by some men Quiberon; and, on his return to Brest, whom I met at landing, that his lordcommunicated his plan to Admiral ship was absent, I walked back to my D'Aruilliers, who afforded him every boat, determined to leave the island. means of forwarding it. He accord. By the way, however, some officers ingly left Brest, and sailed through who were with me could not forbear the Bristol Channel, without giving expressing their discontent, observing, any alarm. Early in the morning of that, in America, no delicacy was the 230 April he made an attack on shewn by the English, who took away the harbour of Whitehaven, in which all sorts of moveable property, setting there were about 400 sail. He suc- fire not only to towns and to the ceeded in setting fire to several ves-' houses of the rich without distinction, sels, but was not able to effect any but not even sparing the wretched thing decisive before day-light, when hamlets and misch cows of the poor he was obliged to retire.
and helpless, at the approach of an The next exploit, which took place inclement winter. That party had on the same day, was the plunder been with me as volunteers the same of Lord Selkirk's house, in St Mary's morning at Whitehaven; some comIsle, near the town of Kirkcudbright plaisance, therefore, was their due. I The particulars of this event, and of had but a moment to think how I the action which succeeded, as well might gratify them, and at the same as the motives upon which Jones acte time do your ladyship the least ined, are well given in the following let- jury. I charged the two officers to ter, which he addressed to Lady Sel- permit none of the seamen to enter kirk :
the house, or to hurt any thing about Ranger, Brest, 8th May 1778. it; to treat you, Madam, with the MADAM,---It cannot be too much utmost respect; to accept of the plate lamented, 'that, in the profession of which was offered ; and to come away arms, the officer of fine feeling, and of without making a search, or demandreal sensibility, should be under
the ing. any thing else. I am induced to necessity of winking at any action of
believe that I was punctually obeyed, persons under his command which his since I am informed that the plate heart cannot approve; but the refleco which they brought away is far short tion is doubly severe, when he finds of the quantity expressed in the inhimself obliged, in appearance, to ventory which accompanied it. I have countenance such action by his autho gratified my men; and, when the plate rity.
is sold, I shall become the purchaser, This hard case was mine, when, on
and will gratify my own feelings, by the 23d of April last, I landed on St restoring it to you by such conveyance Mary's Isle. Knowing Lord Selkirk's
as you shall please to direct. interest with his king, and esteeming,
Had the earl been on board the Ran«I
do, his private character, I wish ger the following evening, he would ed to make him the happy instrument have seen the awful pomp and dreadof alleviating the horrors of hopeless affording ample subject for the pen
of a sea engagement; both captivity, when the brave are overpowered and made prisoners of war.
cil, as well as melancholy reflection It was, perhaps, fortunate for you,
for the contemplative mind. HumaMadam, that he was from home, for nity starts back at such scenes of hora it was my intention to have taken him ror, and cannot but execrate the vile on board the Ranger, and to have de promoters of this detested war, tained him until, through his means, For they, 'twas they, unsheathed the a general and fair exchange of prison- ruthless blade, ers, as well in Europe as in America, And heaven shall ask the havock it has had been effected.
The British ship of war Drake, This, and perhaps the following letter, have been already printed, but not in mounting 20 guns, with more than any durable or accessible repository ; none
her full complement of officers and of the other letters, in so far as we know, men, besides a number of volunteers, have ever been printed. The original let
came out from Carrickfergus, in order ters of Franklin and Kosciuszko are now
to attack and take the American con. before us, written, as well as addressed, tinental ship of war Ranger, of 18 with their own hands. Iditor.
guns, and short of her complement
of officers and men. The ships met, be closed, -but, should it continue,
The honour of a line from your A melancholy demonstration of the hand, in answer to this, will lay me uncertainty of human prospects-! under a very singular obligation; and, buried them in a spacious grave, with if I can render you any acceptable the honours due to the memory of the service, in France or elsewhere, I hope brave.
you see into my character so far, as to Though I have drawn my sword in command me without the least grain the present generous struggle for the of reserve. I wish to know exactly rights of men, yet I am not in armsi the behaviour of my people, as I de merely as an American, nor am I in termine to punish them if they have pursuit of riches. My fortune is li- exceeded their liberty. heral enough, having no wife nor fa- I have the honour to be, with mily, and having lived long enough much esteem, and with profound reto know that riches cannot ensure spect, madam, your most obedient, happiness. I profess myself a citizen and most humble servant; of the world, totally unfettered by the
(Signed) PAUL JONES. little mean distinctions of clinate or To the Right Honouruble of country, which diminish the bene
the Countess of Selvolence of the heart, and set bounds kirk, St Mary's Isle, to philanthropy. Before this war be
Scotland. gan, I had, at an early time of life, withdrawn from the sea-service, in
The correctness of the facts here favour of", calm contemplation and stated is confirmed by the following poetie ease.” I have sacrificed, not account given at the time in the Scots only my favourite scheme of life, but Magazine: the softer affections of the heart, and “ Between ten and eleven, a sermy prospects of domestic happiness; vant brought word, that a press-gang and I am ready to sacrifice my life had landed near the house." This the also with cheerfulness, if that forfei- party from the privateer had given ture would restore peace and good- out, in order, as was supposed, to get will among mankind.
out of the way all the servants and As the feelings of your gentle bo- others who might oppose them. Presom cannot, in that respect, but be sently between thirty and forty armed congenial with mine, let me intreat men came up; all of whom planted you, madam, to use your soft persua- themselves round the house, except sive arts with your husband, to en- three, who entered, each with two deavour to stop this cruel and de- horse-pistols at his side ; and, with structive war, in which Britain never bayonets fixed, they demanded to see can succeed. Heaven can never coun- the lady of the house; and, upon her tenance the barbarous and unmanlyi appearing, told her, with a mixture practices of the Britons in America, of rudeness and civility, who they which savages would blush at, and were, and that all the plate must be which, if not discontinued, will soon delivered to them. Lady Selkirk bebe retaliated in Britain by a justly haved with great composure and prea enraged people. Should you fail in sence of mind. She soon directed her this, (for I am persuaded that you plate to be delivered ; with which, will attempt it, and who can resist the without doing any other damage, or power of such an advocate ?) your en- asking for watches, jewels, or any deavours to effect a general exchange thing else, (which is odd,) the gen of prisoners will be an act of humani- tlemen made off. There is reason to ty, which will afford you golden feel- think that there were some people an ings on a death-bed.
mong them acquainted with persons I hope this cruel contest will soon and places, and, in particular, one fel
low, supposed to have been once & your with the British ministry, who waiter at an inn in Kirkcudbright. knew that you favoured the cause of The leader of the party, who was not liberty. On that account, I am glad the captain of the vessel, told, that that you were absent from your estate their intention was to seize Lord Sel- when I landed there, as í bore no kirk, who is now in London.” personal enmity, but the contrary,
It appears, accordingly, that Paul towards you. I afterwards had the Jones actually purchased the plate, happiness to redeem my fellow citizens and embraced the first opportunity, from Britain, by means far more gloafter peace, to transmit it to Lord rious than through the medium of Selkirk, accompanied by the following any single hostage. letter :
As I have endeavoured to serve the Paris, February 12, 1784. cause of liberty through every stage MY LORD,
of the American revolution, and saI have just received a letter from crificed to it my private ease, a part Hr Nesbitt, dated at L'Orient the 4th of my fortune, and some of my blood, instant, mentioning a letter to him I could have no selfish motive in perfrom your son, Lord Daer, on the sub- mitting my people to demand and ject of the plate that was taken from carry off your plate. My sole induceyour house by some of my people, ment was to turn their attention and when I commanded the Ranger, and stop their rage from breaking out, has been for a long time past in Mr and retaliating on your house and efNesbitt's care. A short time before fects the too wanton burnings and dem I lett France to return to America, solation that had been committed au Mr W. Alexander wrote me from Pa- gainst their relations and fellow citi. ris to L'Orient, that he had, at my zens in America by the British; of request, seen and conversed with your which, I assure you, you would have Lordship in England respecting the felt the severe consequence, had I not plate. He said you had agreed that fallen on an expedient to prevent it, I should restore it, and that it might and hurried my people away before be forwarded to the care of your sister- they had time for further reflection. in-law, the Countess of Morton, in As you were so obliging as to say to London. In consequence, I now send Mr Alexander, that my people behavorders to Mr Nesbitt to forward the ed with great decency at your house, plate immediately to her care. When I ask the favour of you to announce I received Mr Alexander's letter, that circumstance to the public. I there was no cartel or other vessel at am, my Lord, wishihg you always L'Orient that I could trust with a perfect freedom and happiness, your charge of so delicate a nature as your Lordship’s most obedient and most plate ; and I had great reason to ex- humble servant, pect I should have returned to France
(Signed) Paul Jones, within six months after I embarked To the Right Honourable for America. But circumstances in
the Earl of Selkirk, in America prevented my returning to Scotland. Europe during the war, though I had constant expectation of it.
After his combat with the Drake, The long delay that has happened Paul Jones sailed round the north of to the restoration of your plate has Scotland, and, on the 5th Septemgiven me much concern, and I now ber, was seen off Lerwick. He did. feel a proportionate pleasure in ful- no damage, however, except carrying filling what was my first intention. off a boat and four men from the My motive for landing at your estate island of Mousa. He then proceeded aa in Scotland was to take you as an long the east coast of Scotland. In the hostage for the lives and liberty of a middle of September he sailed up
the number of the citizens of America, Firth of Forth, and on the 17th was who had been taken in war on the seen nearly opposite to Leith, below ocean, and committed to British pri- the island of Inchkeith. A violent sons under an act of Parliament, as south-west wind, however, having “traitors, pirates, and felons." You risen, drove his squadron so rapidly observed to Mr Alexander, that my down the Firth, as to be soon out of idea was a mistaken one, because you sight. He had taken and plundered were not (as I had supposed) in fa- a few prizes. He sailed next to the
Texel, into which he carried, as prizes, America has been the country of
Nov. 29, 1779.
to receive your second esteemed letter, During the course of Jones's stay I have unexpectedly had occasion to at the Texel, he addressed the follow revisit Amsterdam; and having changa ing letters to the Dutch Admiral, Ba- ed ships since my return to the Texel, ron Vander Capellen:
I have, by some accident or neglect,
lost or mislaid your letter. I rememOn board the Serapis at the Tezel, ber, however, the questions it conOct. 19, 1779.
tained, viz. Ist, Whether I ever had My LORD,
any obligation to Lord Selkirk ? 2d, Human nature, and America, are Whether he accepted my offer ? and under very singular obligations to you 3d, Whether I have a french comfor your patriotism and friendship; mission? I answer, I never had any and I feel every grateful sentiment obligation to Lord Selkirk, except for for your generous and polite letter. his good opinion ; nor does he know
Agreeable to your request, I have me or mine, except by character. the honour to inclose a copy of my Lord Selkirk wrote me an answer to letter to his Excellency Dr Franklin, my letter to the Countess, but the containing a particular account of my ministry detained it in the general late expedition on the coasts of Bri- post-office in London for a long time, tain and Ireland; by which you will and then returned it to the author, see that I have already been praised who afterwards wrote to a friend of more than I have deserved. But I his, (Mr Alexander,) an acquaintance must, at the same time, beg leave to of Dr Franklin's, then at Paris, giving observe, that, by the other papers him an account of the fate of his letwhich í take the liberty to inclose, ter to me, and desiring him to acquaint (particularly the copy of my letter to his Excellency and myself
, that " if the Countess of Selkirk, dated the day the plate was restored by Congress, of my arrival at Brest from the Irish or by any public body, he would acsea,) I hope you will be convinced that cept it, but that he could not think of in the British prints I have been cen- accepting it from my private generosured unjustly. I was indeed born sity.' The plate has, however, been in Britain, but I do not inherit the bought, agreeable to my letter to the degenerate spirit of that fallen nation, Countess, and now lays in France at which I at once lament and despise. her disposal. As to the third article, It is far beneath me to reply to their I never bore, nor acted under any hireling invectives, they are strangers other commission than what I have to the inward approbation that greatly received from the Congress of the animates and rewards the man who United States of America. draws his sword only in support of I am much obliged to you, my the diguity of freedom.
Lord, for the honour you do me by
proposing to publish the papers I sent esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir, you in my last; but it is an honour your most obedient and most humble which I must decline, because I can- servant,
B. FRANKLIN. not publish my letter to that Lady Hon. Paul Jones, Esq. without asking and obtaining the La- We have also in our possession an ori. dy's consent, and because I have a ginal card of invitation to dinner from very modest opinion of my writings, La Fayette, which shews the esteem in being conscious that they are not of which' he was held by that eminent sufficient value to claim the notice of character. He was satisfied as to his the public. I assure you, my Lord, claims, and returned to Americà. But, it has given me much concern to see in 1788, we find him offering his seran extract of my rough journal in vices to the Empress Catherine, by print, and that too under the disad- whom they were readily accepted. vantage of a translation. That mis- The following is the copy of a letter taken kindness of a friend will make addressed to him by her Imperial me cautious how I communicate my Majesty upon this occasion : papers. I have the honour to be, my Copie de la lettre de sa Majesté l'ImLord, with great esteem and respect, &c. &c.
peratrice de toutes les Russies au
Contre-Amiral de Paul Jones. Paul Jones continued in the Ameri, Monsieur le Contre-Admiral can service during the remainder of
Paul Jones, the war, and, on the 14th April 1781, Un Courier de Paris vient d'aporter, the Congress voted to him an address de la part de mon envoyé en France of thanks, and presented him with a M. de Simolin, la lettre si-jointe au gold medal. At the peace of 1783, it Cte. de Besborodka. Comme je crois was agreed that Jones should return que cette lettre peut contribuer à vous some of the prizes taken during the war, confirmer la verité de ce que je vous but should receive a pecuniary indem- ai dit de bouche, je vous s'envoye, et nification. To arrange this transaction, vous prie de me la renvoyer parceque he sailed for France, and arrived at je n'en ai pas fait tirer de copie tant Paris, where he was received with je me suis hatez de vous la faire pargreat cordiality. In the course of his venir. J'espere qu'elle effacera tout residence there, he received the follow, doute de votre esprit, et qu'elle vous ing letter from Dr Franklin :
prouvera que vous allés avoir affaire à Havre, July 21, 1785.
quelqu'un qui est très-favorablement Dear S1R,—The offer, of which disposé à votre egard. Je ne doute you desire I would give you the nullement que de votre coté vous ne
particulars, was made to me by Mr. Le tachiés de remplir parfaitement l'opi. Baron de Walterstorff, in behalf of his nion que nous avons de vous, et que Majesty the King of Denmark, by vous vous appliqueré avec zèle à sou. whose ministers he said he was autho- tenir la reputation et le nom que vous riz'd to make it. It was to give us ont acquis votre valeur et votre habithe sum of ten thousand pounds Ster- leté très reconnue sur l'element sur ling, as a compensation for having de- lequel vous allés servir. Adieu. ---Je liver'd up the prizes to the English. vous souhaite bonheur et bon santé. I did not accept it, conceiving it much
(Signed) CATHERINE. too small a sum, they having been
A Czarskocelo, valued to me at fifty thousand pounds. 11th May 1788. I wrote to Mr Hodgson, an insurer in What were the circumstances which London, requesting he would procure disgusted Jones with the service of information of the sums insur'd on her Imperial Majesty, we have not yet those Canada ships. His answer was, been able to learn; but it appears that, that he could find no traces of such in 1790, he was'engaged in a negociainsurance; and he believ'd none was tion for entering into the service of made ; for that the Government, on her enemies. This is proved by the whose account they were said to be following very curious document, an loaded with military stores, never in- original letter from Kosciuszko, adsur'd; but, by the best judgment he dressed to “ The Honourable Vicecould make, he thought they might Admiral Paul Jones, Amsterdam,” be worth about sixteen or eighteen written more politely than elegantly thousand pounds each. With great in English ;