The Life and Letters of John Paul Jones - Vol. 2

By Anna De Koven | Go to book overview

APPENDIX H
BARRY'S SUMMING UP OF THE EVIDENCE AT LANDAIS'S COURT-MARTIAL

MSS. Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. The Papers of the Continental Congress. Vol. II, 193. Original page 129.

GENTLEMEN. You have labor'd in this tedious & intricate Case, with all the patience and attention which honor & humanity could dictate. It would be impardonable (sic) in me still further to lengthen the trial by needless harrangue (sic)--I shall therefore go immediately to the points before you and upon them be as concise as Justice will let me.

And the first before you is--Whether Captain Landais came away with the ship Alliance from France contrary to the orders of the Navy Board at Boston or, which will conclude in the same thing, without the knowledge or permission of Dr Franklin, the American minister in France. And I think, gentlemen, that the Captain came away as aforesaid. We find the following clause in the orders of said Navy Board directed to Cap: Landais & dated Boston Decr 1778 viz: On your arrival in France, you are to Send forward the letter herewith delivered you, to the honble Benjamin Franklin &c, and inform him of your arrival whose orders you are then to obey. A principal method of interpreting an order or direction from a superior power, is to collect the intention of originating that order or direction. In pursuance of this idea, I have, more than once, waited upon said Navy-Board and have found that their intention in said orders to Cap Landais--was--that upon reaching France, and from that time until he should leave France, he should be under the orders, particulary the sailing orders of Dr Franklin to go and to tarry with the ship where the Dr should direct. I have also found that this same construction was communicated to the Cap: together with said orders from the Navy Board. Cap Landais in his defence pretends that, when at L'Orient, he received orders of Congress to come to Philadelphia; in which

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